FRENCH infrastructure manager SNCF Network has selected Frequentis to develop and supply a customised communication system for the entire French rail network as part of its strategic development plan to transform the country’s rail system by 2030.

The railway communication project, named Fercom, will pave the way for SNCF Network to transition from GSM-R-connected legacy systems to the Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS). It will see the nationwide deployment of over 3600 fixed terminal systems and up to 40,000 mobile users in the coming years.

As part of the project, Frequentis will provide its IP-based Fixed Terminal System, FTS 3020, as the base for voice and data communication across the French network. The system is proven to support GSM-R, which partially covers the country’s network, as well as having the ability to support public mobile network coverage.

Frequentis will also provide maintenance services until 2036, while the company will open an additional office in Lille that is dedicated to the public transport market and will supplement the existing Frequentis France office in Toulouse.

Frequentis says the new digital platform provided under the Fercom project will provide SNCF Network with increased situational awareness for controllers along with geo-redundancy - the distribution of mission-critical components across multiple data centres as a safety net in case of failure of the primary site’s systems. Provision of large HD screens will also allow operators to see a greater amount of information displayed at a glance.

Frequentis has evolved FTS 3020 over the past few years to become a multi-bearer solution which allows its simplified rail communications application to operate with not only GSM-R but also Tetra and Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless communications networks, thereby providing bearer independence and unifying the experience for the operator at the same time.