This article first appeared in the Railway-News Magazine Issue 3 2023.
As part of a strategic development plan to transform the French rail network by 2030, Frequentis has been asked to develop and supply a customised communication system for the entire network. Thomas Karl, Frequentis Vice President Public Transport, explains what the project entails.
Railway-News: What is the FERCOM project and how will it benefit French railways?
Thomas Karl: FERCOM is a railway communication project that aims to support SNCF Réseau, France’s national state-owned railway company, in digitalising its railway telephony dispatching system and preparing its transition from Global System for Mobile Communications-Railway (GSM-R) to the Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS). FERCOM involves the development and supply of a customised communication system for the entire French rail network.
The main objective here is really to drive performance through digital innovation.
RN: How does the FERCOM project contribute to SNCF Réseau’s strategic development plan?
TK: The FERCOM project will provide a modernised dispatching system for the entire SNCF network coupled with a bearer independent communication (BIC) mobile application for enhanced railway communications dedicated to train drivers and maintenance teams.
It will constitute the first phase in the transition from legacy systems to modernised communication solutions, taking advantage of various communication networks. By adopting the BIC concept, SNCF Réseau aims to enhance railway operations, improve efficiency and support its transformation plan to modernise the rail network, especially for tracks not equipped with GSM-R.
Thus, FERCOM will help SNCF Réseau prepare for its future communication and incident management needs.
Notably, Frequentis is the world’s leading provider of GSM-R dispatcher systems, having delivered systems with a total of over 10,000 terminals. This track record of success aligns with our commitment to driving the evolution of rail communication systems towards FRMCS.
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