Poole, UK and Tel Aviv, Israel, 6th August 2019 — Siemens Mobility and leading mission critical communications (MCX or MCC) enabler Softil today jointly announce an agreement that will see a range of next generation communications solutions come to market for use in Long Term Evolution-Railway (LTE-R) railways as well as Mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) metro applications like underground/tram, buses, and more.
The MCX solutions will support the Future Railway Mobile Communications Systems (FRMCS) of the International Union of Railways (UIC) to build a Global Rail Traffic Management System (GRTMS) for the entire rail industry, bringing significant economic and operational benefits and efficiencies to operators in the process.
“The rail industry is at the forefront of the mission-critical communication revolution and GSM-R based systems have already been replaced by LTE-R solutions in Asia Pacific (APAC) and the trend is expected to widen across other markets in 2019/20,” says Pierre Hagendorf, Softil’s CEO. “With Softil’s BEEHD client framework at the heart of Siemens Mobility’s next generation LTE-R offerings, the rail industry will have a range of supremely reliable solutions packed with rich communication features.”
The new radio system for the Railway industry has to guarantee the interoperability with GSM-R whilst delivering on these three main areas:
Critical communications – Secure voice communication between driver and signaller, provision for emergency and group calls, real-time video imagery for any occurring incidents and the intelligent bearer for European Train Control System (ETCS) and Automatic Train Operation (ATO) operation;
Performance communications – Track condition monitoring, Connected Driver Advisory System (C-DAS), on-train telemetry, maintenance of non-critical infrastructure, non-critical real-time video, wireless communication for on-train-staff;
Business communications – passenger information system, passenger entertainment and passenger communication connections.
Siemens Mobility will enable existing GSM-R users to develop a migration plan that will enable all of the above.
“The rail industry is facing unprecedented challenges in handling increasing numbers of passengers and freight traffic loads,” says Russell Clarke, General Manager, Mobile Communications at Siemens Mobility. “After careful analysis of market options, Siemens Mobility chose Softil’s BEEHD client technology as the outstanding Software Development Kit (SDK) for our developers to build best-of-breed LTE-R communications solutions for the rail industry in the shortest timeframe.”
LTE-R is the foundation for the railway variant of the 3GPP MCC over LTE/5G (MCPTT) standard. What sets the LTE-R technology apart from the currently used GSM-R is that it brings the full power of broadband networks including voice, video, text, images, location and more and not just simple voice.
The Softil BEEHD framework is LTE-R compatible and will enable Siemens Mobility’s solutions to deliver stable voice as well as data communications on trains running at speeds in excess of 400km/h. LTE-R technology makes possible live tracking of a train and transmitting railroad information to engine drivers, and also enables multimedia-based group calling and SMS services on top of voice call services. Additionally, real-time group/individual communication is made possible between train engineers and control centers.
Softil’s BEEHD IP communications solution is a cross-platform framework (SDK) designed for chipset vendors, device manufacturers, system integrators, application developers and service providers looking to accelerate the development of IP-based voice and video over LTE (VoLTE, ViLTE and MCPTT/MCX) solutions. The quality of the award-winning SDK is unmatched within the communications industry and BEEHD was proven to satisfy all required key performance indicators (KPIs) set by the 3GPP MCX standard, as well as often even stricter KPIs required by global carriers and service providers.