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Siemens to Provide GSM-R Network in Belgium
Posted: 14-May-2003 [Source: Siemens]

[SNCB-NMBS, the Belgian national rail company, becomes the seventh Eureopean rail company to have Siemens install its GSM-Railway network.]

The Belgian national rail company, SNCB-NMBS, is the seventh European rail company to have chosen Siemens Information and Communication Mobile (Siemens mobile) for the installation of its GSM-Railway (GSM-R) network. This framework agreement over four years foresees the nationwide rollout of a GSM-R mobile network in Belgium along 3,000 km of track and covers the entire network infrastructure including terminals. GSM-R is a wireless communications platform developed specifically for railway communication and applications. Siemens mobile is the world leader in GSM-R, with seven networks and various test networks in eleven countries.

Siemens mobile has secured contracts with rail companies in Sweden, Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland for GSM-R networks. GSM-R is a GSM-based communications platform which is currently being introduced as the European standard for railway communications. This allows for a single international communication standard for train communication and also improves interoperability between the various railway companies at international level. Alongside voice communication, data transmission will also lead to increased safety for rail transport.

As things currently stand, rail companies use in-track cable networks and analog radio for their voice and data communications. In Germany currently there are eight different railway radio systems in use; in Europe, there are more than 35 different platforms. GSM-R integrates the various voice and data applications for railway radio into a single system.

"Today we have contracts for GSM-R networks covering 22,000 kilometers of track throughout Europe", said Lothar Pauly, board member of Siemens Information and Communication Mobile. "This contract is a further proof of our mobile infrastructure expertise and the wide acceptance of this standard is another triumph for the global standard mobile standard, GSM and, as a leading GSM supplier, for Siemens mobile."

The railway companies will use the applications for communications between chief conductors, control centers, shunting and trackside maintenance teams and for train control and signaling, as well as to forward maintenance data to depots. Moreover, thanks to intelligent networks, railway-specific applications, such as intelligent call rerouting and call filters, will be able to be developed. GSM-R offers high reliability and availability of voice and data transmission and functions at speeds of up to 500 kilometers an hour.

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