Frequentis has completed the rollout of the Unified Railway Communication and Application (URCA) system across the rail network in Finland.

The solution was deployed to fulfil the Finnish Transport Infrastructure Agency (FTIA) requirement for a cost-saving transitional solution to the future Global System for Mobile Communications Railway (GSM-R).

Finnish railway users can use the Finnish Public Safety digital TETRA radio network (VIRVE) and public mobile networks to carry out all railway-specific communication functionalities.

The step will provide additional flexibility to the operator and reduce dependence on a single communication standard.

Since 2008, Finland has been using its GSM-R network ‘RAILI’ for operational voice communications in rail transport.

“The URCA is an end-to-end solution, based on the Frequentis fixed terminal rail voice communication system, FTS 3020.”

These antiquated systems, which are now at the end of its life-cycle, and increased radio interference from the commercial mobile networks prompted the Finland authority to deploy a new communication solution.

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Frequentis’ URCA utilises the VIRVE telecommunications network to offer a voice and dispatch system. It is based on Frequentis’ bearer-independent architecture, which is said to be the first of its kind in Europe.

Frequentis Public Transport vice-president Thomas Karl said: “The URCA is an end-to-end solution, based on the Frequentis fixed terminal rail voice communication system, FTS 3020.

“It enables the use of the TETRA based network, as well as public mobile networks, (including broadband networks in the future) with a rail feature-set to provide an entirely new set of options beyond GSM-R.”

The scope of the contract for Frequentis includes the delivery of RAPLI, a voice recording and a special smartphone application.

It also enables the utilisation of rail specific functions on the public mobile networks.