Siemens Mobility and Softil have jointly announced an agreement that will see a range of next generation communications solutions come to market for use in Long Term Evolution-Railway (LTE-R) railways as well as Mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) metro applications like underground/tram buses etc.
The MCX solutions will support the Future Railway Mobile Communications Systems (FRMCS) of the International Union of Railways (UIC) to build a Global Rail Traffic Management System (GRTMS) for the entire rail industry, bringing significant economic and operational benefits and efficiencies to operators in the process.
“The rail industry is at the forefront of the mission-critical communication revolution and GSM-R based systems have already been replaced by LTE-R solutions in Asia Pacific (APAC) and the trend is expected to widen across other markets in 2019/20,” said Pierre Hagendorf, Softil’s CEO. “With Softil’s BEEHD client framework at the heart of Siemens Mobility’s next generation LTE-R offerings, the rail industry will have a range of supremely reliable solutions packed with rich communication features.”
The new radio system for the Railway industry has to guarantee the interoperability with GSM-R whilst delivering on these three main areas:
Siemens Mobility will enable existing GSM-R users to develop a migration plan that will enable all of the above.
“The rail industry is facing unprecedented challenges in handling increasing numbers of passengers and freight traffic loads,” said Russell Clarke, General Manager, Mobile Communications at Siemens Mobility. “After careful analysis of market options, Siemens Mobility chose Softil’s BEEHD client technology as the outstanding Software Development Kit (SDK) for our developers to build best-of-breed LTE-R communications solutions for the rail industry in the shortest timeframe.”
LTE-R is the foundation for the railway variant of the 3GPP MCC over LTE/5G (MCPTT) standard. What sets the LTE-R technology apart from the currently used GSM-R is that it brings the full power of broadband networks including voice, video, text, images, location and more and not just simple voice.
The Softil BEEHD framework is LTE-R compatible and will enable Siemens Mobility’s solutions to deliver stable voice as well as data communications on trains running at speeds in excess of 400km/h. LTE-R technology makes possible live tracking of a train and transmitting railroad information to engine drivers, and also enables multimedia-based group calling and SMS services on top of voice call services. Additionally, real-time group/individual communication is made possible between train engineers and control centres.
Softil’s BEEHD IP communications solution is a cross-platform framework (SDK) designed for chipset vendors, device manufacturers, system integrators, application developers and service providers looking to accelerate the development of IP-based voice and video over LTE (VoLTE, ViLTE and MCPTT/MCX) solutions.