Traincomms News from BWCS

DB Makes Progress With 5G Along Tracks…

Tuesday 27 Feb 2024

German national train operator, Deutsche Bahn, has launched its Gigabit Innovation Track (GINT) research project aimed at establishing 5G corridors along its rail network. The company, in conjunction with Telefónica , Ericsson and mast owner Vantage Towers, says the project will herald a new era of high-speed internet connectivity for train passengers in Germany.

Back in June 2023, the Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport (the BMDV) announced it would provide funding to the tune of euros 6.4 million to test “relevant technologies along the tracks”. Since then, the project partners have been working on how to achieve high transmission rates and how to best set up the necessary track-side infrastructure in order to minimise spending.

So far, the initiative has seen the deployment and testing of new radio masts, designed for rapid construction, enabling the project to progress significantly just eight months after receiving BMDV funding notice.

A demonstration of this technology's potential is already in place, with a 10km test route in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania now offering high-speed internet services to train passengers. This development is part of Germany's broader ambition to enhance digital connectivity and make train travel a more appealing option for passengers, by providing seamless high-speed internet access.

The Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport, Dr. Volker Wissing, lauded the project's swift progress, emphasizing the importance of rapid network expansion to meet the connectivity expectations of passengers in Germany.

The project is also aimed at supporting the digitalization of rail operations through the Future Rail Mobile Communication System (FRMCS). The design of the new masts allows for shared use by the rail and mobile phone industries, facilitating advancements in both mobile connectivity for passengers and digital capabilities for railway operations.

According to DB board member for digitalization and technology, Dr. Daniela Gerd tom Markotten, the project is aimed making trains a more comfortable and connected environment for travellers, likening it to a rolling office or home cinema. The GINT project exemplifies Deutsche Bahn's commitment to accelerating the digitalization of rail transport, promising a future where trains offer not just a mode of transport but a seamlessly connected travel experience.

The project will be one of many featured at this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference – Traincomms 2024, please see or contact .

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