Swedish infrastructure manager Trafikverket announced that all locomotives, multiple units and driving trailers operating on the country’s railway network must be fitted with GSM-R filters by July 1 to prevent interference from 4G public mobile networks.
The reason for this decision is that mobile operators have the right to increase the power of mobile networks from 1 July 2015 under a decision of the National Post and Telecom Agency. This affects the GSM-R mobile telephony for railway traffic, because that system and the public mobile network frequency are so close to each other. Trafikverket and the Association of Train Operators (BTO) joint risk analysis shows, however, that if this happens, disrupting power increase the communication between the train and the train control center and ERTMS.
The solution is to both increase the coverage of GSM-R by building and renovating of base stations along the track, and mount guard in the form of filter or improved radio modules in the trains.
The operation of onboard GSM-R filters is also be prohibited under EU law until July 1, although Trafikverket says the equipment can be disengaged until it is required. The Government intends to establish a state aid to subsidize the installation of the necessary equipment on the trains”, says Mathias Persson, Trafikverket IT Director.
In addition, the Ministry of Industry has formed a steering committee which includes Trafikverket, BTO, National Post and Telecom Agency and regional and local government bodies to co-ordinate a response.