Frequentis’ Finland-based railway specific bearer-independent communications system has won the International Critical Communications Award for transport.

The International Critical Communications Awards (ICAA) focus on excellence in the public safety sector and 42 shortlisted entries were competing for just ten awards.

Industry experts on the judging panel from Global System for Mobile Communications Railways (GSM-R), to the Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS), praised the Frequentis project for its interesting and innovative evolution, hailing it as an important integration project.

Frequentis implemented the Unified Railway Communication and Application system for the Finnish Transport Agency to meet its need for a cost-saving transitional solution against the future GSM-R replacement.

Since February 2019, Finnish railway users have been able to use the Finnish public safety digital TETRA radio network and public mobile networks for all railway-specific communication functions. This has allowed greater flexibility to follow the future evolution of such networks, as well as ensuring a lowered dependency on one specific communication method.

Frequentis public transport vice-president Thomas Karl said: “It is a great achievement to win this prestigious award for the best use of critical communications in transport.

“Over the past few years, we have evolved the Frequentis fixed terminal rail voice communication system FTS 3020 into a multi-bearer solution for rail communications applications to operate not only with GSM-R, but also TETRA and long term evolution (LTE) radio networks.

“This provides bearer independence, allowing users to overcome increasing operational cost and technical issues.”

Critical Communications World is The Critical Communication Association’s (TCCA) flagship event, having run for over 20 years. Among the award categories were:

  • Best use of mission-critical communications during a major event
  • Best use of critical communications in transport
  • Best use of critical communications in utilities
  • Best use of critical communications in other vertical markets
  • Greatest advance in the migration to critical broadband
  • Best new infrastructure solution
  • Best new LTE or hybrid device
  • Outstanding example of after-sales support
  • TCCA young engineer of the year
  • Outstanding contribution to critical communications.

Winners were announced on 18 June at the Critical Communications World event, staged at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre in Kuala Lumpur.