Thursday 14 April 2022

Mid-term Horizon Europe 5GRAIL project event held on 12 April in Brussels

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On 12 April 2022, the mid-term conference for 5GRAIL, an EU-funded Horizon 2020 research project, was held at the Pullman Centre Midi Hotel in Brussels, attended by more than 100 participants from the international railway community and telecoms sector.

The main objective of 5GRAIL is to validate the first set of FRMCS specifications (also called FRMCS V1) by developing and testing prototypes of the FRMCS ecosystem for both trackside infrastructure and on board.

Jean-Michel Evanghelou, UIC Director for Telecom and Digital, opened the conference on behalf of François Davenne, UIC Director General. His introduction was followed by remarks from Philippe Citroën, UNIFE Director General and Jorge Pereira, 5GRAIL Project Officer at DG CONNECT.

GSM-R has been a success story for 21 years now, which has enabled ERTMS. FRMCS is the successor to GSM-R. It is a 5G-based system. It also relies on a 3GPP mission critical framework, which will enable functionality, quality of service and seamless border crossing.

The overall objective of the railway sector is to make a first edition of FRMCS available by 2025-2026 to enable national pilots to begin. 5GRAIL is a critical step in this plan and will see the development of FRMCS prototypes, especially the FRMCS TOBA (Telecom On-Board Architecture), together with the applications, to be tested in labs and in the field with real trains.

5GRail is a complex project but is clearly on track and is starting to show key results: the consortium is on its way to integrating modems working in FRMCS 1900 MHz frequencies, with critical applications such as ETCS and ATO.

At today’s conference, the floor was given to all 5GRAIL work package leaders, who presented the project status and plans. Some images were also shown from the two labs in which tests have begun. These visible results and progress are undoubtedly due to the quality of work and exceptional efforts of the 5GRAIL team.

All of the documents presented during the event are available on the project website at:

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 951725.

For more information, please contact Dan Mandoc, 5GRail Technical Coordinator, at

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