New-Tech Europe Magazine | Q2 2021

keeping connectivity on track

Gary Evans MD Powell Electronics, Europe

Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) Enter FRMCS (Future Rail Mobile Communication Systems), which is expected to replace existing GSM-R wireless connectivity technology. FRMCS will utilise 5G mobile technology and will have the ability to transmit, receive and use increasing volumes of data, all geared around sustainable transport. GSM-R equipment is expected to become obsolete by 2030. The International Union of Railways (UIC) sees FRMCS as the vital element to drive the digitalisation of railways, while cellular services will maintain their role in connecting the train to the wayside. FRMCS technology is currently being finalised with first trials due in 2023, and wide-scale deployment targeted between 2025 and 2035. East Coast Microwave, a division on connector distributor, Powell Electronics, specializes in RF/

When you consider rail applications, heavy duty, harsh environment connectors immediately come to mind. Power connectors must be ultra-reliable and rugged enough to withstand high levels of shock and vibration. But increasingly rail and other mass transportation systems also require high speed comms systems, not only to improve the passenger experience but also to allow smart connectivity control and monitoring systems, and even state of the art security systems to ensure passenger and employee safety. In this respect, 5G could become a major driving force, but industry experts are already concerned that 5G alone won’t be enough to meet the future demand for cellular connectivity – a 2019 report from Deutsche Bahn found that the projected data demand was not likely to sufficiently support the demand for 27GHz. That’s the reason behind the development of trackside networks that can deliver very high bandwidth connectivity and low latency.

Microwave connectors, cables and components. The company -m which is now supported across Europe from Powell’s European headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, focuses on three areas: Wi-Fi for passengers and staff Mobile communication repeater systems Carriage bridging wireless data transmission Wireless networks can be used for a range of applications including on- board ticketing, timetable information and internet for passengers. Multiple antennas per access point provide wireless coverage in the train. The main criteria when selecting antennas are the coverage required in certain parts of the train, and the demand for the latest MIMO (multiple input multiple output) technology. East Coast Microwave provides a wide range of compact omni-directional and directional antennas for various installation situations plus associated connectors and MIMO technology for

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