Kapsch promotes the harmonization of GSM-R standards

Posted: 16 November 2011 | | No comments yet

The TC RT of the ETSI recently published a new technical specification for Release 4 Core Network architecture…

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The Technical Committee for Railway Telecommunication (TC RT) of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) has recently published a new technical specification for Release 4 Core Network architecture. An official set of rules based on international standards for the implementation for digital wireless train communication has been created, which refers to technical innovations and GSM evolution towards IP (Internet Protocol). As a leading provider of GSM-R, Kapsch CarrierCom has contributed to establishing technology standards in renowned standardization bodies.

“Kapsch’s expertise supports railways in operating their GSM-R infrastructure more cost effectively and to enter the 21st century with new technologies such as the IP based Release 4 architecture. We provide our customers maximum efficiency with our integrated solutions, which perfectly meet all requirements for wireless train communication and ERTMS systems. With the migration to Release 4 technology, Kapsch CarrierCom offers operators the most advanced technology that is currently available on the market. We will stay on this successful path by continuing to drive new developments,” explains Jean-Michel Evanghelou, Kapsch CarrierCom’s Head of Railway Solutions.

Technical specification of the 3GPP Release 4 Core Network architecture

Kapsch CarrierCom has promoted the discussion for the use and implementation of Release 4 platforms into existing and new GSM-R networks in numerous meetings of the ETSI Technical Committee for Railway Telecommunications. Concerns about impact of the introduction of R4 on ASCI functionalities such as Voice Group Call Service (VGCS), Voice Broadcast Service (VBS) and eMLPPs were eliminated. The compatibility with interfaces to existing GSM-R networks and external PLMNs was also considered, tested for technical feasibility and the ability to maintain service and quality requirements was examined.

Until now, the basic structure of a GSM-R network was based on the release 99 version of the core network, which was regulated by the 3GPP and ETSI technical specifications. Technical developments in the GSM environment have led to the introduction of the advanced IP based release 4 technology into core networks and this has been field-proven on an international level during the past years. These developments are now also available for GSM-R networks worldwide. The ETSI GSM-R technical specification for release 4 Core Network architecture is a further step in the modernization of GSM-R networks and provides several advantages compared to the release 99 technology.

Kapsch CarrierCom’s innovative GSM-R core technology

Kapsch CarrierCom takes on a pioneer role with the IP based R4 technology for the MSC and HLR in GSM-R networks. This technology, offered by Kapsch CarrierCom, contains a Mobile Switching Center Server (MSCS), Home Location Register (HLR) and Media Gateways. Advantages of R4 are also reflected in the railway’s efficiency. For example, the capacity to support high traffic volume increases, while the railway’s operating costs are reduced. Kapsch CarrierCom’s new R4 technology satisfies the requirements of the 3GPP version BICN architecture. The Call Server (MSCS) and Media Gateway (MGW) distributed system architecture provides advantages for both voice and data traffic (CSD), which also increases the system’s performance. The physical separation and the open interfaces are a central aspect of the 3GPP BICN standard. This technology relies on the latest packet switching equipment instead of traditional circuit switches, which provides the necessary flexibility for future network developments.

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