The ERIG #42 (ERIG - European Railways Radio Implementers Group) took place on 17 and 18 of June 2009, at UIC HQ, Paris.
Representatives from Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Great Britain, Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, CER, EIM and ERA attended the meeting.
The meeting started with the usual implementation status report session, performed by each member participant, the UIC working groups (GSM-R Functional Group – FG, GSM-R Operators Group – OG, GSM-R Network Management Group – NMG) reports, as well as the report on the UIC GSM-R activities. EIM, CER and ERA representatives introduced their GSM-R activities and their opinions. The GSM-R Industry Group speaker participated to the first day of the meeting. SAGEM Communications presented their related products and their plans for the future.
Regarding the GSM-R Additional Frequencies, the ERIG members were informed that approaches are close to be happily finalized by obtaining additional frequencies in the so called PMR/PAMR Band (Trunk Band - 870-876/915-921 MHz). The Public Consultation phase was ended early May 2009, with several positive liaison statements. If the undertaken actions are going well, the modified ECC decisions rules could become official at the beginning of 2010.
Another important topic related to the Frequency Management was GSM-R Interferences. Attendants of the ERIG meeting took note of the fact that the expansion of the Mobile Public Operators using UMTS 900 becomes reality. In most of the operating networks several interferences points have been identified and they are constantly increasing. Measures are to be taken by UIC to prevent the blocking of the GSM-R transmission due to the Mobile Public Operators, especially due to UMTS900 and future LTE900 signals.
The ERIG members have been informed that the GPRS for ETCS Feasibility Study, under the ERA supervision, with the participation of EEIG, UNISIG and UIC is considered closed. The tests performed until now in Belgium and Italy are to be considered for the study final report, which will be issued by UIC, organizer of the test campaigns. The Packet Switch transmission mode and the IP environment are considered vital to be adopted by the ETCS transmissions. The tests showed that the GPRS, even if one of the weakest radio transmissions protocols, is fast and reliable. Yet, behavior in busy environment, tests on application level and engineering rules are to be more in depth studied, in a second phase. A test campaign is programmed to take place in a very short period in Italy, and discussions to extend the tests in The Netherlands started.
On the GSM-R Change Request Process, the ERIG members were informed, in a set of presentations held by ERA and UIC, that the new process, commonly managed, started to work. As explained before, the main improvements have been achieved with the new process: the involvement of all the interested parties ERA, The Sector Companies – CER & EIM, the members- ERIG and UIC, which gives then the chance for the railways to intervene and express their position, and which leads to a complete transparency of the process.
Once the Change Request (CR) will be finalized, it will be transferred from the UIC Change Request Database towards the ERA Database, and the two will be convergent. This will continue the transparent cooperation relationship between the two organizations.
One of the main focuses for 2009/2010 is to revise the EIRENE specifications with the objective of identifying the interoperability relevant parts, as well as separate them from the national driven options. On regards to the interoperability part, the purpose is to ease and clarify the certification process. As for the options part, it is needed to go on developing the works on the GSM-R system, needed for the national application as well as for the out of Europe part. Outside Europe, GSM-R is currently operational in China, being implemented in Australia, India, and Saudi Arabia and taken into account as a preferred solution in a number of countries worldwide.
Last but not least, ERIG #42 marked an important event, being the last ERIG with Mr. Klaus Konrad as the ERIG Chairman. Mr. Konrad has been Chairman since 1999. 60000 Km of railways equipped with GSM-R, increasing Border Crossing using this technology and plans for 200.000 Km to be equipped all over the world are showing the GSM-R was the right choice 10 years ago. Mr. Gerard Dalton, Infrastructure Department Director in UIC, as well as Mr. Dan Mandoc, the upcoming ERIG Group Chairman, expressed the UIC gratitude for 10 years of work excellence. A CD containing all documents produced by ERIG from the 1st meeting until ERIG #40 (more then 1000 documents!) was edited.
Next ERIG Meeting will take place in Norway, 30 of September to 1st of October 2009