Nokia will develop the first automated rail service to stress test standalone (SA) 5G as part of Deutsche Bahn’s highly automated S-Bahn operation project

Finnish giant Nokia has announced its intention to deliver a SA5G network for a 23-kilometre stretch of the S-Bahn Line 21, beginning at the key transport hub of Berliner Tor in Hamburg, Germany. As part of the Digitale S-Bahn Hamburg project, by 2021 driverless trains will travel along this line, sharing data entirely via this SA5G network. Part of the demonstration will include automated shunting of empty trains in an area near Bergedorf station, facilitated by the communication of train control data via the SA5G mobile network. 
Nokia’s 5G solution is an evolution of 3GPP standards for 5G mobile networks, allowing data sharing between automated trains by 5G radio. Such a system has many projected benefits for both rail service operators and consumers, allowing for smoother cross-border operation, increased rail infrastructure capacity, improved punctuality, and ultimately customer experience.
As the first of its kind, this project will function as a case study of 5G’s maturity and future potential to provide connectivity to digitalised rail operations. As such, the results of this project will be crucial to the development of the 5G-based Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) standard, the successor to Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway (GSM-R). 
“We are very pleased to be Deutsche Bahn’s partner, bringing digital technology to the forefront of the Hamburg S-Bahn network and rail system,” said Kathrin Buvac, president of Nokia Enterprise and chief strategy officer. “Together, we have worked to research, develop and deliver the world’s first 5G-based communication system for automated rail operation, an important milestone towards the Future Rail Mobile Communication System and a major step in making Industry 4.0 a reality.”
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