Union Cabinet approves allotment of 5 MHz spectrum to Indian Railways

Indian Railways, through this spectrum, aims to provide LTE (Long Term Evolution) based Mobile Train Radio Communication on its route

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NEW DELHI (Metro Rail News): The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the proposal for allotment of 5 MHz Spectrum in 700 MHz frequency band to Indian Railways for public safety and security services at stations and in trains.          

Indian Railways, through this spectrum, aims to provide LTE (Long Term Evolution) based Mobile Train Radio Communication on its route. The estimated investment in the project is more than INR 25,000 Crores. The project will be completed in the next 5 years.

“This decision of the government will contribute significantly to the modernization of the railway communication infrastructure, improving the safety of travel and also the quality of signalling for operations. The recommendations of TRAI in 2019, seems to have been accepted with the spectrum being allocated specifically for captive usage and not commercial use, with a royalty charge and license fee applicability payable to the Department of Telecommunications. Therefore, the Wi-Fi enhancement capabilities for end customers will not be a focus for now, however, the implementation of safer and faster journeys, resulting in increased revenues.” said Tony Verghese, Partner, J Sagar Associates.

Indian Railways has also approved TCAS (Train Collision Avoidance System), an indigenously developed ATP (Automatic Train Protection) System, which will help in avoiding train collisions thereby reducing accidents and ensuring passenger safety.

It brings a strategic shift in Railways operations and maintenance regime.  It will help in improving the safety and increasing the line capacity to accommodate more trains using the existing infrastructure. The modern rail network will result in reduced transportation cost and higher efficiency. Also, it will attract multinational industries to set up manufacturing units to fulfill the ‘Make in India’ mission and generate employment.

The purpose of the LTE for Indian Railways is to provide secure and reliable voice, video and data communication services for operational, safety and security applications. It will be used for modern signalling and train protection systems and ensure seamless communication between loco pilots and guards.

It will also enable Internet of Things (IoT) based remote asset monitoring especially of coaches, wagons & locos, and live video feed of CCTV cameras in the train coaches to ensure efficient, safer and faster train operations.

“This decision of the government will contribute significantly to the modernization of the railway communication infrastructure, improving the safety of travel and also the quality of signalling for operations. The recommendations of TRAI in 2019,  seems to have been accepted with the spectrum being allocated specifically for captive usage and not commercial use, with a royalty charge and license fee applicability payable to the Department of Telecommunications. Therefore, the wi-fi enhancement capabilities for end customers will not be a focus for now, however, the implementation of safer and faster journeys, resulting in increased revenues.” Tony Verghese, Partner, J Sagar Associates

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