Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Better signalling: Cabinet approves Allotment of 5 MHz spectrum to Indian Railways

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New Delhi: The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for the allotment of 5 MHz Spectrum in 700 MHz frequency band to Indian Railways for public safety and security services at stations and in trains. With this spectrum, Indian Railways has envisaged providing LTE (Long Term Evolution) based Mobile Train Radio Communication on its route. The estimated investment in the project is more than Rs. 25,000 Crore. The project will be completed in the next 5 years.

In addition to this, Indian Railways has approved TCAS (Train Collision Avoidance System), an indigenously developed ATP (Automatic Train Protection) System, which will help in avoiding train collisions thereby reducing accidents and ensuring passenger safety.

It brings a strategic shift in Railways’ operations and maintenance regime. It will help in improving the safety and increasing the line capacity to accommodate more trains using the existing infrastructure. The modern rail network will result in reduced transportation cost and higher efficiency. Also, it will attract multinational industries to set up manufacturing units to fulfil the ‘Make in India’ mission and generate employment.

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The purpose of the LTE for Indian Railways is to provide secure and reliable voice, video and data communication services for operational, safety and security applications. It will be used for modern signalling and train protection systems and ensure seamless communication between loco pilots and guards. It will also enable the Internet of Things (IoT) based remote asset monitoring especially of coaches, wagons & locos, and live video feed of CCTV cameras in the train coaches to ensure efficient, safer and faster train operations.

The Spectrum charges may be levied based on a formula basis as prescribed by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for royalty charges and license fee for captive use as recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).

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