Rail travel is becoming increasingly popular globally, but the current communication systems are struggling to meet the needs of both passengers and rail operators. This has created a demand for innovative data-driven information and communication solutions, which the railway industry hopes to find in the upcoming 5G networks.
However, there is still considerable debate about whether 5G can deliver the long-awaited advantages and replace the aging GSM-R and dedicated signaling systems. Existing technology makes monitoring and managing massive quantities of data extremely time-consuming and demanding. Therefore, 5G presents a tremendous opportunity to enhance the railway industry. Throughout this article, we will discuss how 5G can improve the operation of railways in the future.
Technological Advantages of 5G
5G offers numerous technological advancements for cellular dependability, and these benefits can also be applied to railway systems. 5G consolidates the entire G family of wireless networks, offering a complete generational transition that enables 1ms of latency and 1Gbps download speeds, a significant improvement over 4G. Let’s discuss how it will be beneficial for passengers and railway operators.
5G offers a variety of benefits for rail passengers. Electronic tickets with simple scanning and pricing tailored to each passenger’s needs are just a few examples. With 5G, operators can install antennas in train stations to offer uninterrupted Wi-Fi service that is both free and dependable on all trains.
The 5G network provides the following complete list of technological advancements:
- Marketing strategies tailored to millions of consumers across a vast array of demographics.
- Real-time train load rates, availability data, and PNR status information
- Monitoring the deterioration of railway infrastructure and peak electricity consumption and distribution times
- The ability to send trains to designated depots only when absolutely necessary.
- Utilizing artificial intelligence, traffic forecasts are created (AI).
Benefits for Rail Operators
The applications of 5G for railway communications can be categorized into three categories:
- Critical environments communications
- Enhanced bandwidth and rapid communications
- Internet of Things-enabled mass communication (IoT).
The first point, critical environment communications, is highly advantageous for maintenance and control applications and critical operations. The railway can conduct and establish secure and dependable communications with ultra-low latency using 5G.
Other areas that will benefit from 5G and rail infrastructure sensor data can be transferred significantly more quickly. Information such as object recognition, geolocation, train-to-train communications, and train technical data can be transmitted and shared in a matter of seconds, for instance. Train depots and all operators will have instantaneous access to the status of any train, on any given day, at any given location.
Despite the controversies surrounding 5G, the technology and reorganization of railway systems that it offers can make them more cost- and time-effective. The implementation of 5G in railway systems is advantageous in numerous ways. As a result of enhanced communications and operations, trains will be able to move more quickly and dependably, making it simpler to choose rail travel.