Nokia says it conducted LTE 1900MHz Time Division Duplex (TDD) radio frequency testing with SBB in the Swiss cantons of Fribourg and Neuchâtel. Nokia deployed remote radio heads with tests using rolling stock specially equipped with measurement instruments.

The UIC wants to launch FRMCS in 2025. FRMCS is designed to be much more than a communications system as it will be based on 5G technology, which will provide a huge increase in capacity to offer new services in addition to enhanced safety and security, and improved rail network performance and reliability. FRMCS is seen as a game-changer for ERTMS and railway digitalisation.

“This proof of concept project is a major contribution to delivering FRMCS as an essential enabler for Smartrail 4.0, which is an industry-wide initiative to prepare Swiss railways to modernise the rail system,” says Mr Robert Badertscher, SBB’s head of connectivity for Smartrail 4.0. “The result sets an important direction in terms of FRMCS frequencies for the industry programme’s goal to exploit the potential of new, emerging technologies for the railways of the future.”

“SBB is at the forefront of work to define the FRMCS standard, which will provide a gateway to a new generation of rail industry innovation,” says Mr Jochen Apel, Nokia’s head of global transportation. “This proof of concept will also contribute to the work that both SBB and Nokia are carrying out with other rail companies to ensure all the benefits of FRMCS are realised for operators and passengers.”