Railway communication networks are due for a significant paradigm shift in the next few years as they prepare for a series of different challenges to overcome. First of all, GSM-R systems which started to be deployed in 1999 shall be renewed due to their obsolescence planned for the 2030 decade. Secondly, existing railway services mainly centred on voice call and signalling needs are scheduled to evolve to higher degrees of automation and will incorporate video capabilities to the current service mix while offering more flexibility in term of throughput and latency for signalling aspects.

Finally, the digital transformation of railway organizations will call for the introduction of new services in multiple domains: video monitoring of what happens inside or outside the train, automated operation or remote control of the train, information delivery to passengers, sensor metrics collected by the train and efficiently reported to the network, highly reliable train communication services to safely manage operations in shunting areas or to improve security when the train is moving on track to name a few. The 3GPP Mission Critical Services will support the next- generation railway communication system to build a Global Rail Traffic Management System (GRTMS) for the rail industry, bringing significant economic and operational benefits. Mission Critical Communications will provide secure voice communications between the driver and signaller, provision for emergency and group calls, real-time video imagery for any occurring incidents. Railway operators will be transiting to critical mobile broadband solutions to offer reliable and high-performance communication. The Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS), the successor of the Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway (GSM-R), is expected to be rolled out in the coming years.

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