The government has allotted 5 Mega Hertz (MHz) spectrum in 700 MHz frequency band to Indian Railways for upgrading its communication and signalling system, thereby improving public safety and security.
The Union Cabinet approved 5 MHz spectrum for railways to upgrade communication and signalling system, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar said in a press conference to inform about Cabinet decisions on Wednesday.
The railways currently relies on optical fibre for its communication network, but with the allocation of fresh spectrum, it will be able to use high-speed radio on a real-time basis. It will help in augmenting both communication and signalling networks of the railways, the minister said.
"With this spectrum, Indian Railways has envisaged to provide LTE (Long Term Evolution) based mobile train radio communication on its route. The estimated investment in the project is more than Rs 25,000 crore. The project will be completed in the next 5 years," the Railway Ministry said.
The purpose of LTE for Indian Railways is to provide secure and reliable voice, video and data communication services for operational, safety and security applications. It will be used for modern signalling and train protection systems, and ensure seamless communication between loco pilots and guards.
"It will also enable Internet of Things (IoT) based remote asset monitoring especially of coaches, wagons and locos, and live video feed of CCTV cameras in the train coaches to ensure efficient, safer and faster train operations," the release said.
Spectrum charges may be levied based on formula basis as prescribed by the Department of Telecommunications for royalty charges and licence fee for captive use as recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI).
Besides, Indian Railways has also approved Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), an indigenously developed Automatic Train Protection (ATP) System, which will help in avoiding train collisions.
"It brings a strategic shift in railways' operations and maintenance regime. It will help in improving the safety and increasing the line capacity to accommodate more trains using the existing infrastructure," the release added.
The modern rail network will result in reduced transportation cost and higher efficiency. It will also attract multinational industries to set up manufacturing units to fulfil the 'Make in India' mission and generate employment.
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