A data rate 10 times higher than with the current 4G technology, latency divided by 10, connection density multiplied by 10: everything is going to change with the next generation of mobile communication.
To operate, trains must communicate. This is true today and will be even truer tomorrow. Telecommunications technologies are thus essential to rail operations. With 5G, everything is going to change.
At the present time, communication between trains and control centres and between personnel is based on the Global System for Mobile Communications – Railways (GSM-R) technology, a wireless communications standard developed specifically for rail applications and communication to supplement analogue systems like ground-to-train radio.
By 2030, GSM will no longer be supported by SNFC’s suppliers, and communications systems will switch over completely to 5G.
With data rates 10 times higher than with the current 4G technology, latency divided by 10, and connection density multiplied by 10, the next-generation mobile technology will be essential to the future of mobility and to the development of smart, communicating vehicles as it will provide very low latency connectivity for autonomous mobile systems requiring continuous and uninterrupted transmission.
5G will bring services impossible with today’s technologies – remote-controlled trains, autonomous vehicles, objects (medical and industrial robots), and ultra-high-speed video communications from one corner of the planet to another.
C-V2X (Cellular Vehicle To Everything) technology, whose implementation will require 5G capabilities, will enable communication between the train and a person on the ground or between the train and an infrastructure such as a level crossing.