With an aim to increase passengers safety and provide secure voice, video and data communication services for operational and security applications, a proposal was cleared to allot Indian Railways 5 MHz spectrum in 700 MHz band.
With this spectrum, the Indian Railways envisages to provide LTE (Long Term Evolution)-based Mobile Train Radio Communication on its routes. The estimated investment in the project is more than Rs. 25,000 crore (Rs. 25,00,00 million) and is expected to be completed over the next five years.
An official statement put out by the Indian government yesterday said, the move was aimed at giving a boost to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ (self-reliant India) mission.
It brings a strategic shift in the Indian Railways’ operations and maintenance regime, the statement stated, adding a modern rail network will result in reduced transportation cost and higher efficiency.
The government also expects the move will attract multinational industries to set up manufacturing units to fulfill the ‘Make in India’ mission and generate employment.
The purpose of the 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 signaling 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 spectrum charges could be levied based on a formula basis prescribed by the Department of Telecommunications for royalty charges and license fee for captive use as recommended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.