\r\nIn a draft position paper published on May 16, the European Rail Infrastructure Managers (EIM) association and the Community of European Railways and Infrastructure Companies (CER) suggest that the 873-876MHz\/918-921MHz band should be reserved in addition to the current GSM-R band for the Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) which will be rolled out from the mid-2020s.\r\n \r\nEIM and CER say this has emerged as \u201cthe most favourable option to reuse infrastructure investment and allow a smoother migration.\u201d\r\nSpeaking at the International Union of Railways\u2019 (UIC) 3rd World Conference on Rail Transport Telecoms in Paris on May 17, Mr Carlo de Grandis, policy officer for DG Move, told delegates that bandwidth will be needed for critical interoperability and safety-related applications both during the migration phase and after the rollout of FRMCS. EU-wide spectrum allocation will also be necessary to ensure interoperability.\r\nThe EU Agency for Railways, which is working with UIC, CER, EIM and Shift2Rail and other bodies to develop a specification for FRMCS, says spectrum will be an issue not just in Europe but globally.\r\n\u201cWe are working with stakeholders to define a successor to GSM-R,\u201d says the agency's director general Mr Josef Doppelbauer. \u201cA key challenge is that we need spectrum both for the future system and GSM-R during the migration phase. There will be massive competition for this spectrum - autonomous cars are going to need a lot bandwidth to sustain their network - so we need to fight for our bandwidth.\u201d\r\nThis call was echoed suppliers in the Railway Operational Communications Industry Group, which is committed to supporting GSM-R until at least 2030 and is working with other industry bodies to define FRMCS. \u201cEarly definition of the required spectrum is a really vital issue,\u201d says Mr Ciro de Col of Siemens. \u201cIt\u2019s also important to define how we are going to move from one network to another.\u201d\r\n\u201cOur retention of GSM-R frequencies will be challenged by other sectors,\u201d says Mr Pierre Cotelle of Alstom. \u201cWe need to be very clear about why we need it, especially during the migration period.\u201d\r\nA full report on FRMCS will appear in a forthcoming issue of IRJ.