Inmarsat launches rail communications solution

8 June 2020 (Last Updated June 8th, 2020 10:50)

Inmarsat has launched an all-inclusive new Rail Telemetry and Communications Solution for the industry.

Inmarsat has launched an all-inclusive new Rail Telemetry and Communications Solution for the industry.

The solution offers real-time data transfer and push-to-talk (PTT) communications for rail operators working in remote areas.

It helps in connecting drivers and railway staff, which helps to drive operational efficiencies and boost overall railway safety.

Railways face many challenges, which are said to increase in areas with reduced cellular coverage. The staff cannot contact the control centre, resulting in inefficiencies and safety concerns.

Inmarsat’s Rail Telemetry and Communications Solution uses the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN).

The company stated that the solution offers around 99%.

Low-form factor satellite terminals are installed on locomotives, which provide real-time GPS, telemetry and PTT capabilities worldwide.

This allows the control centres to ‘efficiently and safely’ oversee and schedule the locomotives, rolling stock and goods movement across the rail network, along with communications with the crew.

Inmarsat Sector Development director Steven Tompkins said: “Inmarsat’s new Rail Telemetry and Communications Solution builds on projects with leading rail operators in Latin America and development work with our hardware and service provider partners.

“We are confident the solution provides the most reliable data and communications service for train companies and will lead to a paradigm shift in the safety and efficiency of remote rail operations.”

One of the main features of the solution is the integration with current onboard equipment.

The Cobham PRISM PTT integrates into the existing radio of the locomotive, which eliminates the need to dispose of the existing trusted equipment.

Tompkins added: “As well as being relied on to transfer critical data in real-time, Inmarsat’s Rail Telemetry and Communications Solution is unique in providing a PTT voice communication feature that can switch between connectivity types seamlessly, without any lag in reconnection.

“This provides operators with complete confidence that data will always be transferred, the latest technology onboard will stay operational and voice communications with drivers and crew can be maintained wherever the train is located.”