Benchmarking a GSM-R Network
After designing and planning and the subsequent testing and optimizing of a GSM-R network, it can be deployed. It does however need to be validated at set intervals to ensure continued compliance with the requirements. At times, upgrades of the network need to be applied, such as an upgrade from GSM-R to LTE-R.
Periodical Benchmark Testing
In many countries, operators that utilize a GSM-R network for their railways will conduct periodical testing at specified intervals.
It is important to conduct these periodical tests to ensure that sites are still performing as they should and continued compliance with the requirements. Quality of Service could be affected by, for example, new buildings which are erected, or by wooded areas growing over time. External factors such as these can cause issues near the tracks.
This periodical testing is dependent on the rail operators requirements, but it is recommended to test each radio network annually. Usually, however, there is no legislation which requires periodical benchmark testing.
Radio Network Upgrades
Over a period of time the radio environment may require changes. These may be driven by the building larger stations and expanding existing ones, new shunting areas and a higher volume of rolling stock on current lines, and so on and so forth.
Upgrades can range from carrier additions to accommodate additional capacity, or indeed a new site to cover new shunting areas, improve indoor solutions for newly built stations or expand existing stations as required.
When new elements are inserted into a mature network, these elements must be tested to ensure they do not degrade the current radio environment. This requires testing along the sections of the tracks which may be affected will usually be required.
Clear CinCom and GSM-R Benchmarking
Clear CinCom is a telecom consultancy with extensive experience in GSM-R network design and planning in Europe and elsewhere. You can read more about our services, the technologies we work with, projects we have recently completed and our specific experience with GSM-R.