Cabinet approves allocation of 5MHz spectrum for railways to improve communication and signalling

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New Delhi, Jun 9 (PTI) The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved allocation of 5 MHz spectrum in the 700 MHz band to Indian Railways for improving its communication and signalling systems, Union minister Prakash Javadekar said.

He said it will help improve safety of passengers on the transport network.

With this spectrum, Indian Railways has envisaged to provide LTE-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 five years, the national transporter said in a statement.

The railways currently relies on optical fibre for its communication network but with the allocation of fresh spectrum, it will be able to use high-speed radio on a real-time basis.

It will help in augmenting both communication and signalling networks of the railways, the minister said.

'Cabinet approves allotment of 5 MHz spectrum in 700 MHz band to Indian Railways for public safety and security services at stations and in trains; estimated investment is over Rs 25,000 Crore; Project to be completed in next five years,' a government spokesperson tweeted.

In its statement, the railways said, '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.' In addition, Indian Railways has approved an indigenously developed automatic Train Collision Avoidance System.

The purpose of LTE (Long Term Evolution) 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 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 railways said.

'The spectrum charges may be levied based on formula basis as prescribed by Department of Telecommunications for Royalty Charges and License Fee for Captive use as recommended by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India,' the statement said. PTI SKC NAB ASG SMN SMN

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