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The meaning of «gsm-r»

GSM-R, Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway or GSM-Railway is an international wireless communications standard for railway communication and applications.

A sub-system of European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS), it is used for communication between train and railway regulation control centers. The system is based on GSM and EIRENE – MORANE specifications which guarantee performance at speeds up to 500 km/h (310 mph), without any communication loss.

GSM-R could be supplanted by LTE-R,[1] with the first production implementation being in South Korea.[2] However, LTE is generally considered to be a "4G" protocol, and the UIC's Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) program[3] is considering moving to something "5G"-based (specifically 3GPP R15/16),[4] thus skipping two technological generations.[5][6]

GSM-R is built on GSM technology, and benefits from the economies of scale of its GSM technology heritage, aiming at being a cost efficient digital replacement for existing incompatible in-track cable and analogue railway radio networks. Over 35 different such systems are reported to exist in Europe alone.[7]

The standard is the result of over ten years of collaboration between the various European railway companies, with the goal of achieving interoperability using a single communication platform. GSM-R is part of the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) standard and carries the signaling information directly to the train driver, enabling higher train speeds and traffic density with a high level of safety.

The specifications were finalized in 2000, based on the European Union-funded MORANE (Mobile Radio for Railways Networks in Europe) project. The specification is being maintained by the International Union of Railways project ERTMS. GSM-R has been selected by 38 countries across the world, including all member states of the European Union and countries in Asia, Eurasia and northern Africa.

GSM-R is a secure platform for voice and data communication between railway operational staff, including drivers, dispatchers, shunting team members, train engineers, and station controllers. It delivers features such as group calls (VGCS), voice broadcast (VBS), location-based connections, and call pre-emption in case of an emergency. This supports applications such as cargo tracking, video surveillance in trains and at stations, and passenger information services.

GSM-R is typically implemented using dedicated base station masts close to the railway, with tunnel coverage effected using directional antennae or 'leaky' feeder transmission. The distance between the base stations is 7–15 km (4.3–9.3 mi). This creates a high degree of redundancy and higher availability and reliability. In Germany, Italy and France the GSM-R network has between 3,000 and 4,000 base stations. In areas where the European Train Control System (ETCS) Level 2 or 3 is used, the train maintains a circuit switched digital modem connection to the train control center at all times. This modem operates with higher priority than normal users (eMLPP). If the modem connection is lost, the train will automatically stop.

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