Eutelsat OneWeb, Icomera, and CGI to Test Hybrid Satellite and 5G Connectivity for Rail

Eutelsat OneWeb, in partnership with Icomera and CGI, is conducting trials that integrate satellite communications and mobile 5G networks across the rail network as part of Project Sodor, partially funded by the European Space Agency.

Highlights

  • The project integrates existing terrestrial 5G networks with OneWeb's Low Earth Orbit satellite network.
  • Achieving consistent, resilient, and affordable rail connectivity involves seamlessly integrating LEO satellite communications and mobile 5G networks.
  • The pilot scheme aligns with the transition to 5G-based FRMCS and the adoption of the latest LEO satellite connectivity in rail networks.

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Eutelsat OneWeb, Icomera, and CGI to Test Hybrid Satellite and 5G Connectivity for Rail
Eutelsat OneWeb, the global satellite communications company, has announced a partnership with Icomera, a provider of integrated connectivity solutions for public transport networks, and CGI, an IT and business services company, to test the integration of satellite communications and mobile 5G networks across the rail network as part of Project Sodor.

Also Read: Orange Poland Enhances Connectivity on PKP Intercity Trains




Hybrid Connectivity Trials

The project, partly funded by the European Space Agency, will trial the use of both existing terrestrial 5G networks and the OneWeb Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite network to provide operational and passenger connectivity across the rail network. Initial trials took place at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in late October, using a Kymeta U8 user terminal installed on a rolling testbed.

Future of Rail Transport

According to Eutelsat OneWeb, global rail passenger numbers have dropped by approximately 80 percent. Now, the provision of seamless and reliable connectivity is considered a crucial factor in enticing passengers back. OneWeb further stated that the future of rail transport critically depends on operators leveraging advanced communication systems to enhance safety, increase automation, reduce operating costs, and improve the passenger experience.

Also Read: Eutelsat Completes Merger With OneWeb to Form Eutelsat Group

Hybrid Network Solution

OneWeb stated that achieving consistent, resilient, and affordable connectivity across rail networks requires a mix of technologies, seamlessly integrating Low Earth Orbit satellite communications and existing mobile 5G networks. This hybrid network is expected to support diverse use cases cost-effectively from a common infrastructure.

Also Read: OneWeb to Begin Satellite Services in India From Next Month: Sunil Bharti Mittal

Preparing for FRMCS

The company added in a statement, "With the Future Railway Mobile Communications System FRMCS due to replace GSM-R and other legacy systems, this timely pilot scheme will provide significant validation as rail operators begin to plan how they will prepare and migrate their networks to take advantage of 5G-based FRMCS and the latest LEO satellite connectivity."

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