The first phase of the “Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS)” study item in 3gpp, which targets to define unified mobile communication platform for the rail systems, is close to completion and it seems that there is more to come.

Not only, that the FRMCS work is going forward with regular 3gpp process, there is now yet another study item which relates, not only to rail, but to other public transport and rail verticals as well. The new work item is called “Communication to Automation in Vertical Domains (FS_CAV)”. Just in order to be precise and as the name rightly hints, the work item is not limited to the public transport but goes beyond to any other vertical with automation related issues.

The FS_CAV is targeting to enhance the set of requirements defined in Technical Specification (TS) 22.261 – “Service requirements for the 5G system”. From the public transport point of view, the most prominent impact will most likely be on subways and suburban rail related use cases.

While aiming to identify the new use cases and pave the way for a new set of requirements, this study also has an important role in bringing together different public transport related organizations and standards and aiming to work towards a unified and interoperable system, in which of course the 5G is excellent toolbox.

So, it seems that there is big interest among industries to make a full-blown 5G upgrade to the public transport industry. Personally, I see it also very positive, that also the public transport operators are becoming more and more ‘5G-aware’ and some of them are already actively taking part into the 5G standardization.

It seems that we will continue to have an exciting year in the context of 5G work and public transport with FRMCS and the new member of the family:  FS_CAV!