Huawei says GSM-R Abis over IP simplifies operational demands by consolidating two transmission networks into one. For example operators with existing IP-based infrastructure can build a parallel GSM-R network without incurring additional costs and merge existing GSM-R networks into a single IP-based transmission system. In addition, it says consolidating transmission networks will reduce or eliminate the cost of operating a separate time-division-multiplexing (TDM), as well as require fewer spare parts and reduce training costs.

"Demand for the Abis over IP feature has been growing and the completion of these tests is a significant development for the railway industry," says Mr David Xu, Huawei's general manager of enterprise wireless products. "We can now offer our GSM-R Abis over IP feature to railway companies in Europe and around the world, which have long been waiting for the launch of this technology."

Connectivity between trackside GSM-R base transceiver stations and the centralised GSM-R network elements such as base station controllers require the use of Abis protocols that are established by transmission TDM-networks. However, Huawei says that with rising demand for data communications, railway operators are considering replacing TDM-based with IP-based networks which improve performance, increase flexibility and enhance access all while decreasing operating costs.