Rail & GSM-R



Railways & GSM-R

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

Railway operators need a multiple technology tool compatible with GSM-R, LTE-R, TETRA and PMR and manage coverage, capacity, site parameters and neighbor planning and optimization.

ICS telecom EV offers all of this and supports Wi-Fi and mesh networks for light rail.

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

ATDI offers 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

Case studies

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 main 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 sides 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 speed, 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

“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).

NOKIA (NSN) – THALES - Consortium

Supply of the design, construction and deployment of the ERTMS / GSM-R radio subsystem including the design and construction of fiber optic cables and the construction of tele-transmission system. Services to support the construction of the infrastructure of the GSM-R system on the railway line E 20 / EC 20 on the section Kunowice-Terespol in the scope of: Łowicz Główny – Terespol – 600 km of design documentation related to the construction of new optocommunication cables and development of the teletransmission system (SDH technology).

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

Between November 2013 and January 2016, ATDI supported THALES design, construct and implement a ERTMS / GSM-R radio subsystem including fibre-optic cables and construction of teletransmission systems. The project covered 600,000km of railway lines and included the design, assembly, construction and commissioning of the GSM-R BSS subsystem for the deployment section. The order also includes delivery of GSM-R mobile terminals, SIM cards and stationary terminals and dispatchers (FDS) with the necessary accessories.

ATDI provided the design documentation for the construction of new optocoupler cables and the development of the teletransmission 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 despatch 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.

Fiber allocation in fiber optic cables is as follows:

– fiber 1-2 main transmission ring SDH,

– fiber 3-4 GSM-R transmission between BTS and SDH,

– fiber 5-6 signaling to FDS terminals,

– fiber 7-12 GSM-R reserve,

– fiber 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 fiber), with 48 monomodal fibers (48J) according to ITU-T G-652.

Fiber optic cables in the aforementioned cables used for SDH transmission are single mode fibers 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 designer

INDRA (Spain)

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



Network Rail (UK)

Coexistence issues with GSM-R- ICS telecom

Ofcom (UK)

Network Rail and MOD spectrum interference issue (study)

MoD (UK)

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

Atkins (UK)

Measurement data for GSM_R systems for Cambrian, Newton Motherwell 2 other areas (Measurements)

Mott MacDonald (UK)

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

Not Spot Modeling for Ofcom / Network rail

This consultancy was to identify areas of the rail network without Mobile coverage (GSM-R and commercial mobile) and determine best locations for extra sites to fill in not spots

  • 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

Deliverable: Full report and recommendations

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 – Network dimensioning: RailCorp wishes 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 must be evaluated. ATDI bases its evaluation the planning tool ICS Telecom, that is already owned by Railcorp.

Study II – Tuning Phase: measurement phase by making fake emission along the track and getting samples – 1 month of runs and measurement made. Data introduced after treatment in ICS telecom to get a tuned project.

Study III – DTRS Preliminary design – Verification of work made by UGL and Huawei based on information provided by RailCorp – Used better carto. See proposal RFP No. 106332LB

Ineo Suez (France)

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

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

Global Novicom (Kazakhstan)

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

Ancom (Romania)

http://www.scientificbulletin.upb.ro/rev_docs/arhiva/full52725.pdf – it is a small resume of a Ph.D thesis on GSM-R in which ICS Telecom was used as the technical analysis tool, and I think it can be used as a reference. The ICS Telecom license was owned by The Special Telecommunications Service (http://www.stsnet.ro/indexe.html) , a government institution (owner of 2 ICS Telecom licenses).

Siemens (Romania)

Owns 2 ICS licenses and was involved in several GSM-R projects. For Romania there was a pilot project on GSM-R in which Siemens Romania was involved, the equipments were Siemens.


Conducting preliminary LTE-R planning

Perth Transport Authority

(owns and runs public rail in Western Australia)

LTE-R and TETRA simulations along the rail

WSPGroup (Australia)

Compliance and technical response 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 under-ground (tunnels) for mining related acitivities

BHP Billiton (Australia)

Coverage and throughput predictions on private rail in mining areas.

Software: Network Rail, UK – using ICST for rail communications (not GSM-R)

ANFR (France)

GSM-R intermodulation interference

ICS telecom and High resolution digital cartography

Opto-communications - Fiber-optic design - Transmission network - GSM-R - LTE-R - PMR