Kapsch CarrierCom has secured a contract from Belgian railway infrastructure manager Infrabel to upgrade its communications network.

Under the 15-year framework agreement, Kapsch will be responsible for the Global System for Mobile Communications-Railways (GSM-R) and General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) Core Network migration from 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) R99 to Release 4 (R4) technology.

In addition to delivering the technology, Kapsch will be responsible for the maintenance of the equipment for 12 years.

Based on advanced telecommunications computing architecture, the R4 core network is compliant with the European Train Control System (ETCS) level two requirements.

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” Our decision for Kapsch CarrierCom is based on our approach for a maximum of safety, punctuality and efficiency.”

Accordingly, it supports undisrupted data transmission based on GSM-R and live ETCS level two traffic.

Infrabel GSM-R Expert Vincent Caudron said: “Our decision for Kapsch CarrierCom is based on our approach for a maximum of safety, punctuality and efficiency for our railway network.

“These three approaches run through all of our activities and projects. In addition, Kapsch is the main GSM-R core network supplier for main railway networks in Europe and proofed to be the perfect partner for a seamless migration to the Release 4 (R4) technology.”

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Kapsch noted that it will implement redundant voice core platforms for live and testbed networks in order to optimise the migration process.

These platforms are expected to increase the availability of the core network, reducing breakdown from several hours to a few seconds.

Additionally, the step will also reduce the impact on the operational communications such as voice and data for ETCS level two.

Kapsch CarrierCom CEO Kari Kapsch said: “The win of this new customer in a new country once again proofs our expertise in end-to-end communications solutions for mission-critical networks.”

In January, the company completed the implementation of its GSM-R system across Luxembourg railway network.