Cooperation protocol with UIC


Following the technical consulting service that REFER Telecom provides to UIC - International Union of Railways - in March 2012, the first edition of the reference document on the adoption of telecommunications networks based on IP and MPLS technology to support Railway System communications (Voice and Data) was publically presented  – “IP Introduction to Railways - Guidelines for the fixed telecommunications Network”.

This document is an important milestone for the railway community since it provides information on the state-of-the-art of these new generation technologies, the constraints and advantages of their adoption in a railway environment. It also contributes for the understanding of the models and strategies of development or migration to new telecommunication networks or for the evolution of legacy (traditional) technologies.

UIC's mission is to promote worldwide railway transport and its members include approximately 200 railway network managers, including REFER. This project has the following objectives:

  • To facilitate sharing of good practices between the various members;
  • To adopt worldwide standards for railways;
  • To support members in their efforts to develop new technologies;
  • To promote new ways to improve technical and operational performance;
  • To promote railway inter-operability.

The publication of this document comes at a time when railway networks, specifically European, are considering the technological evolution of their telecommunications networks. This need to evolve results from several factors - on the one hand, the operation of the old transmission systems with many years of use, vertical and that sometimes support a limited number of applications, technologically obsolete and with high operation costs and, on the other hand, the need to create multi-service transmission infrastructures with high resilience, able to accommodate different service quality requirements to guarantee high connectivity availability to mission critical type applications, as well as the requiring transmission characteristics of some applications, of which the Circulation Command and Control systems are an example.

In this framework, sharing REFER Telecom's experience in the implementation of new general networks, based on standard technologies has been of added value to the railway industry which has the National Railway Network as a proven reference in the implementation of this type of network.

Once again proving its leadership in the implementation of IP and MPLS-based technology networks to support railway communications, REFER Telecom added another reference in this matter by supporting on a network using this technology, communications between the CORE of the GSM-R network and the BTS installed on the tracks, an action which was carried out in the scope of the pilot implementation of the GSM-R network on the Cascais Line for the development of the future mobile operational network (Voice and Data), interoperable and using digital technology to support of Mobile Ground-Train Communications Operation.