Indian Railways Testing 5G Communications: How Will Passengers Benefit?

Indian Railways Testing 5G Communications: Will Passengers Benefit?

A group of telecommunications equipment manufacturers will soon start trials for 5G services for the Indian Railways. The trials will involve testing the 5G-based mobile communication network that should help the Indian Railways modernize their wireless communication platforms. Let's see how the modernization plans could help passengers and Indian telecom gear manufacturers.


Indian Railways Asks Indian Telecom Gear Makers To Begin 5G Trails

Indian Railways has reportedly sent out a mandate to Voice of Indian Communication Technology Enterprises (VoICE), asking them to set up a 5G-based mobile communication network.

Only Indian telecom companies are part of the VoICE consortium. They include Himachal Futuristic Communications (HFCL), Telecommunications Consultants India, Signaltron, Lekha Wireless, Coral Telecom, Sparsh, Astrome, Dyotis, etc.

Indian Railways has asked the consortium to conduct trials between Palwal and Mathura stations. The 5G network will use the 700 MHz band. Indian Railways is allowed access to the premium 700 MHz spectrum band to deploy 5G technology for its own use. VoICE Director General R K Bhatnagar confirmed the developments:

"Indian Railways has asked VoICE for setting up a 5G-based mobile communication network on the Palwal-Mathura sector of (82 km) Indian Railways in a consortium mode on 700 MHz band as Proof of Concept. Implementation target is 9 to 12 months."

While Indian Railways is one of the first government-run enterprises, successful trials could help the Indian Army and Indian businesses as well, claimed Bhatnagar

"Except for HFCL, most of the VoICE members are small players. VoICE is trying to support domestic Indian design-led telecom players in taking up similar projects for the Indian Army, Private 5G Enterprise networks,"

How Will 5G Wireless Communication Help Indian Railways And Its Passengers?

The trials for 5G telecommunication services are currently meant for the backend services of Indian Railways. Indian Railways intends to modernize the control and communication system for trains, vehicle access gateways, emergency communication systems, and communication between onboard technicians and on-ground or at-station authorities such as train controller/station master and driver/guard, track maintenance staff.


Some mission-critical communication systems such as priority calls, push-to-talk, floor control, and group cast mass notification will also partially rely on 5G services. Indian Railways could also use 5G to broadcast audio and video.

Simply put, passengers might not immediately or directly benefit from the deployment of 5G services by Indian Railways. However, the state-owned railway company could offer Wi-Fi services for passengers, which would be able to tap into 5G networks for fast, wireless connectivity.

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