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Cover Story

3GPP drives GSM-R to a new track

August 5, 2016

By Juergen Merkel, Nokia, rapporteur of the FS_FRMCS study item.

At the recent 3GPP SA plenary, a study item was approved - to investigate the requirements for a new railway communication system, as a successor to the GSM-R service.

GSM-R is facing a number of challenges:

  • The system life-cycle is coming to an end, with vendor support uncertain beyond 2030
  • Extra capacity is required in some areas to support railway operations
  • The rollout of European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) has increased the strain on the GSM-R network

To have a successor technology in place by 2020 for trials and by 2022 for deployment, the International Railway Union (UIC) have published a user requirement specification in their paper “Future Railway Mobile Communication System - FRMCS” (see S1-161250).

Recent News

ETSI recruiting officer to cover 3GPP topics

ETSI are recruiting a Technical Officer, for duties that will include the support of one or more 3GPP Working Groups.

The ideal candidate would have an appreciation of standardization processes, excellent project management skills and direct experience in at least one standardization activity. However, applications will be welcomed from less experienced candidates who show aptitude and enthusiasm.


LAA standardization: coexistence is the key

July 13, 2016

Given that the topic of LAA is generating a lot of interest, our RAN Chairman has provided the following update on the development of the standard, with a particular focus on the work on coexistence in unlicensed spectrum.

By Dino Flore, 3GPP TSG RAN Chairman

More than a year ago 3GPP decided to embark in the specification of Licensed-Assisted Access (LAA) to provide operators and consumers with an additional mechanism to utilize unlicensed spectrum for improved user experience, while coexisting with other Wi-Fi and other technologies in the 5GHz unlicensed band.

Prior to any specification work on LAA, 3GPP conducted studies to look at the feasibility of LTE operating in unlicensed bands. A central focus of the studies was fair sharing and coexistence with Wi-Fi where the criterion used to ensure coexistence was that an LAA network does not impact existing Wi-Fi neighbors any more than another Wi-Fi network.


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