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Swiss rail company SBB contracts Siemens to build GSM-Railway mobile network
Posted: 18-Dec-2002 [Source: Siemens press release]

[In the future, data transfer will account for a large part of the communications traffic on GSM-R networks. The range of applications could be extended to inform and entertain the passengers and could also include service features.]

Munich, Germany -- The Swiss national rail company, Schweizerische Bundesbahnen (SBB), has contracted the Siemens Information and Communication Mobile division (Siemens mobile) to build its mobile railway network. In the first phase SBB will invest roughly EUR 14 million and the SBB Advisory Board have appropriated approximately EUR 254 million for the whole project over the next few years. Siemens is the world market leader for GSM-Railways, the communication platform for railways, with six commercial networks and four test networks in a total of ten countries.

The SBB want to build, in five steps over the coming years, a so-called GSM-Railway (GSM-R) mobile network in Switzerland, which will be the future international standard for railway telecommunications. Siemens mobile will start work on the construction of the central network after previously having successfully constructed a GSM-R test network, by way of a pilot scheme, for the SBB.

GSM-R is a GSM based communications platform and is currently being adopted as the new European standard for railway communications. GSM-R integrates voice applications for train communication into a single system, which up till now has been based on different analogue and digital systems. This allows for a single international communication standard for train communication and also offers the possibility of data exchange between different train control systems.

In the future, data transfer will account for a large part of the communications traffic on GSM-R networks. The range of applications could be extended to inform and entertain the passengers and could also include service features: for example a ticket machine could signal through GSM-R that it is empty or that it needs servicing. The European Transportation Control System (ETCS), that Siemens is presently helping to develop, also uses GSM-R as carrier for its communications system. This system would allow for a higher traffic flow on the same basic track infrastucture.

The Siemens Information and Communication Mobile Group (Siemens mobile) offers the complete range of mobile solutions including mobile devices, infrastructure and applications. Devices include mobile phones, wireless modules, mobile organizers and cordless phones as well as products for wireless home networks. The infrastructure portfolio includes GSM, GPRS and 3G mobile network technologies from base stations and switching systems to intelligent networks, e.g. for prepaid services. Mobile Applications cover end-to-end solutions for Messaging, Location Based Services or Mobile Payment. For fiscal 2002 (September 30), Siemens mobile recorded sales of EUR 11 billion and employed approximately 28.600 people worldwide.

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