Samsung Electronics' LTE-Railway (LTE-R) solution has launched its official service on the 41km-long Busan Metro line 1 in South Korea.

The system's integration on the line represents the first usage of LTE-R technology during operation of a train / metro service, and will cover 40 stations in total.

Samsung collaborated with the Busan Transportation (BTS) and SK Telecom to replace the existing analogue wireless technology with the new LTE-R solution.

The new communication system has been undergoing testing since February for final safety checkup purposes, and an interoperability test has been conducted between the on-board equipment on the metro and the LTE-R mobile device installed on the railway / train.

SK Telecom senior vice-president and public business office head Il-gyu Choi said: “SK Telecom has successfully replaced legacy analogue communications network with a multimedia capable LTE railway network, which will make the operation procedure more intuitive and efficient.

"The 4G-based LTE-R technology was developed as a modern mission-critical communication solution for railway operation and maintenance, and offers stable multimedia services."

“With more than 30 years' experience, SK Telecom will further extend its expertise into public safety areas.”

The 4G-based LTE-R technology was developed as a modern mission-critical communication solution for railway operation and maintenance, and offers stable multimedia services.

It enables the use of multimedia-based group call / SMS services, and also allows rail operators to transmit real-time video of the station to the central control centre in case of accidents. The system also offers real-time group / individual communication between the train engineer and control centre.

The technology features a low latency rate of 10ms with QoS management support, and can also be implemented for mission-critical communication that requires high speed, consistency and security.

The South Korean Government noted that it plans to increase the distance covered by the LTE-R project to nearly 5,600km by 2025.