Rail Comms & LTE-R

ATDI specializes in railway communications including GSM-R radio planning and opto-communications

Railway operators need a multi-technology software tool compatible with GSM-R, LTE-R, TETRA and PMR ICS telecom supports all these technologies and manages coverage, capacity, site parameters and neighbor planning and optimization as well as WiFi and mesh networks for light rail.

It features propagation models which perform coverage calculations to a high degree of accuracy, without the use of the automatic model tuning module, a model which can be used at the calibration stage to improve the final AFP results when drive test measurements are available.

ATDI offers the following services for Railways:

  • Radio-Planning (GSM-R, LTE-R, PMR)
  • Environmental analysis (human hazard, Natura 2000)
  • Frequency Planning
  • Cross-Border Coordination
  • Traffic analysis
  • Interference analysis
  • Intermodulations
  • Network optimization
  • Design, construction and implementation of the ERTMS/GSM-R radio subsystem
  • Design and Construction of fiber-optic cable network
  • Design and Construction of transmission systems
  • Site survey
  • Measurements
  • Cartography
Route planning & Prospective Planning


The radio access side of a GSM-R or LTE-R network consists of Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) and Terminal Stations, all of which are located along railway lines. The first step in GSM-R and LTE-R radio planning is to search or select areas close to the railway. These locations for the BTS will provide optimal radio coverage of the whole service area, leaving no portion uncovered and should comply with EIRENE SRS requirements. Each base station can be configured with one to three sectors, optimally orientated along the railway tracks.


ICS telecom EV uses ‘route planning’ for selection of existing sites and ‘prospective planning’ for deployment of additional sites to automatically identify the best BS locations. The software can be configured to account for constraints like deploying a BS at a given position (clutter selection modelling of the railway infrastructure) and can cover a minimum number of points (user configurable); a user-defined minimum overlapping order can be set to ensure the whole area is covered. The sector orientation can also be automatically optimized consecutively using the ‘station azimuth’ feature to ensure each sector is optimally orientated to cover the largest number of points along the railway track.

ATDI: railway standards on-hand

LTE-R deployment along railways


The primary characteristics of LTE-R technology are high speeds, security and bandwidth capacity to support voice and data for train controls, onboard video surveillance and infotainment services for passengers on a single IP network. This can be deployed across many frequency bands.


ICS telecom EV can simulate the behavior of traffic for a given population of users depending on the various types of schedulers. ICS telecom EV features a traffic calculation method based on LTE schedulers which determines the best algorithm to apply in each traffic scenario. The user needs to define the profile of the UE (i.e., maximum transmit power, antenna height, transmission mode and traffic demand) and generate the population of UE (per density per km² or over a polygon or per site…). The LTE parenting function in ICS telecom EV calculates UE by UE, the effective traffic received based on the selected algorithm.NB: During parenting the DL and UL radio conditions are verified (RSRP, RSRQ and PUSCH). The ‘ICIC enhancement’ option can also be validated to reduce the risk of collision between RBs transmitted by inter-cells, as well the MIMO adaptive switch modes (AAS).

ATDI: Helping rail passengers make their connections

PKP Polish Railway Lines S.A

Supply of GSM-R radio planning for railway lines covered by the National Implementation Plan ERTMS in Poland” – 7 283,188 km of railway lines (1 128 BTS).

AECOM for Croatia railway line

Supply of propagation planning services for the radio network on the line Goljak – Skradnik and Croatia railway line – 40 km, including three tunnels.


Radio planning services in the 800 MHz and 150 MHz band-switched radio network on the PKP PLK E 20 railway line at Sochaczew – Swarzędz – 220 km of two-track railway lines.

NOKIA NSM – THALES consortium

ATDI supported THALES design, construct and implement a ERTMS / GSM-R radio subsystem, including fibre-optic cables and the construction of tele-transmission systems. The project covered 600,000 km of railway line and included the design, assembly, construction and commissioning of the GSM-R BSS sub-system for deployment. GSM-R mobile terminals, SIM cards and stationary terminals and dispatchers (FDS) were also delivered, with the necessary accessories.

ATDI provided the design documentation for the construction of new opto-coupler cables and the development of the tele-transmission system.

The project encompassed the following sections of the rail network:
– Line No. 3 section Warsaw West – Łowicz Główny (E-20)
– Line No. 2 section Warszawa East – Terespol (E-20)
– Line no.11 Łowicz Główny section – Skierniewice (CE-20)
– Line No. 12 section Skierniewice – Lukow (CE-20)

And incorporated:
– Construction of optical-telecommunication lines
– Development of STM-16 and STM-4 SDH telemetry transmitters for the transport layer
– Development of access layer to enable the dispatch network
– Refitting of the 1350 OMS management system in the OC1 Warsaw central facility across appropriate licenses.

Optical fibre-optics cable lines
The signal transmission between BTS and GSM-R BSC was implemented on the SDH rings formed on the respective E 20 and C-E 20 lines, which acts as a synchronous backbone network with automatic, alternating transmission.

SDH rings were made in the following relationships:
– line E 20 (line no. 3): OR Lowicz – adjusting West Warszawa
– line E-20 (line No. 2) can be adjusted to the east of Warsaw – OR Oleksin – OR Krynka – OR Puchacze – OR Terespol, two basic fiber optic cables and loop closure
– line C-E 20 (lines 11 and 12): OR Łowicz – OR Piotrkowice – OR Pilawa – OR Łuków, in the basic fiber optic cable with closed loop transmission by the SDH system from the E 20 line.

Designated cable lines built under this investment task
Along the line No. 2 on the section ND Biala Podlaska – ND Terespol (TRB) and along the line No. 3 on the section ND Warszawa West – Łowicz Główny (building at 7 Dworcowa Street) was built fiber optic cables:
– basic cable – Z-XOTKtsd 48J (along track 1),
– closing cable – Z-XOTKtsd 48J (along track 2).

The Z-XOTKtsd 48J fiber optic cable has been built along the line NO. 11 on the section NW Skierniewice SKB – Łowicz Główny (building at 7 Dworcowa Street) and along the line NO. 12 on the section Skierniewice SKB – LCS Łuków.

Fibre allocation in fibre optic cables as follows:
– fibre 1-2 main transmission ring SDH,
– fibre 3-4 GSM-R transmission between BTS and SDH,
– fibre 5-6 signaling to FDS terminals,
– fibre 7-12 GSM-R reserve,
– fibre 13-48 reserve.

The cables described above are external (Z), polyethylene (X), optoelectronic (OTK), dry (ts), dielectric (d) tubular, made of a multi-piece structure with loose twisted tubes around the dielectric central Endurance element (FRP rod – impregnated glass or aramid fibre), with 48 monomodal fibres (48J) according to ITU-T G-652.

Fibre optic cables in the aforementioned cables used for SDH transmission are single mode fibres for transmitting in the II and III transmission windows, wavelengths of 1300nm and 1550nm respectively.

Gyprotranssignalsvyaz (GTSS SPB)

GSM-R network design using ICS telecom. Line TGV St Petersbourg-Moscou-Nijny Novgorod

Transtelecom (TTK)

Network design using ICS telecom.

INDRA (Spain)

Network design line TGV Médine – La Mecque (Saudi Arabia)



Network Rail (UK)

Study: Coexistence issues with GSM-R using ICS telecom

Ofcom (UK)

Study: Network Rail and MOD spectrum interference issue

MoD (UK)

Study: Sharing and compatibility of GSM-R and Ptarmigan (Mobile Secure Battlefield System – MoD).

Atkins (UK)

Supply: Measurement data for GSM-R systems for Cambrian, Newton Motherwell and two other areas.

Mott MacDonald (UK)

Study: Spectrum usage issue in the GSM-R frequency bands. Proof of concept trial for Wireless Internet Protocol Connectivity to deliver operation wireless line-side data.  This work was undertaken with Mott MacDonald to study alternative technologies that might be used to deliver data to trains. The study compared GSM-R capabilities in terms of coverage and data throughput to alternative data-centric systems.


Study: This project identified areas of the rail network without mobile coverage (GSM-R and commercial mobile) and determined the best locations for extra sites to fill in not-spots. The project included:

  • Development of detailed methodology to improve cellular network coverage on trains
  • Phase I: coverage measurement study to identify coverage gaps along selected rail routes
  • Phase II: data collected overlaid on mapping pinpointing problem areas. Additional data such as train frequency and passenger data were incorporated to identify where improved coverage would yield greatest benefit
  • Phase III: creation of geospatial coverage model identifying weighting for each potential serving location and its ability to serve coverage to the gaps identified
  • Phase IV: assessment and recommendation of equipment.

RailCorp – Australia

GSM-R project for NSW – ICS telecom


RailCorp GSM-R project / UGL – ICS telecom. Huawei in NSW used our tool for planning and delivering NSW GSM-R network.

UGL / RailCorp

GSM-R project / Winner of contract with RailCorp – ICS telecom.

Parsons Brinckerhoff / Queensland Rail

Initial study: ETCS L2 Business Case – GSM-R Reference Design – GSM-R network coverage analysis report – (Study)

Railcorp Australia

Study I – GSM-R network coverage analysis report – including network dimensioning. RailCorp wanted to simulate the migration of its 400MHz analogue network to a 1800 MHz GSM-R digital network. In order to do so, the number of required base station had to be evaluated. These were completed on ICS Telecom, which was already owned by Railcorp.

Study II – Tuning Phase: measurement phase which involved making fake emissions along the track and taking samples – one month of runs and measurement were made. The data was used to fin tune the project.

Study III – DTRS Preliminary design – Verification of work made by UGL and Huawei based on information provided by RailCorp. This stage used better cartography.

Ineo Suez (France)

TVG line Tours-Bordeaux – GSM-R network study using  ICS telecom
TVG line Tours-Rennes – GSM-R network study using ICS telecom

Global Novicom (Kazakhstan)

Pre-design of a GSM-R Network Astana – Kokchetau with Nokia / Siemens using ICS telecom

Siemens (Romania)

Siemens, Romania owns two ICS licenses which were used in several GSM-R projects. For Romania, this involved a pilot project for GSM-R in which Siemens Romania was involved, utilising Siemen equipment.


Conducting preliminary LTE-R planning.

Perth Transport Authority

Supply; LTE-R and TETRA simulations along the rail (owns and runs public rail in Western Australia)

WSP Group (Australia)

Support with compliance and technical responses to tenders

Transport NSW (Australia)

Managing GSM-R network, handover analysis and coverage predictions

Cisco Australia

Mesh & WiFi planning along for light rail in Canberra

OTC (Australia)

Planning LTE underground (tunnels) for mining related activities

BHP Billiton (Australia)

Coverage and throughput predictions for private rail in mining areas.


Network Rail, UK – using ICT telecom for rail communications.

ANFR (France)

Anylysis: GSM-R intermodulation interference
ICS telecom and High resolution digital cartography