Cabinet approves allotment of 5 MHz spectrum in 700 MHz band to Indian Railways

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Giving a boost to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ mission, the Union Cabinet, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has approved the proposal for allotment of 5 MHz Spectrum in 700 MHz frequency band to Indian Railways for public safety and security services at stations and in trains.

  • With this spectrum, Indian Railways has envisaged to provide LTE (Long Term Evolution) based Mobile Train Radio Communication (MTRC) system 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.

Train Collision Avoidance System:

  • In addition to this, Indian Railways has approved TCAS (Train Collision Avoidance System), an indigenously developed ATP (Automatic Train Protection) System, which will help in avoiding train collisions thereby reducing accidents and ensuring passenger safety.
  • 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 modern rail network will result in reduced transportation cost and higher efficiency.
  • Also, it will attract multinational industries to set up manufacturing units to fulfill the ‘Make in India’ mission and generate employment.

Purpose of LTE for Indian Railways:

  • 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 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 & locos, and live video feed of CCTV cameras in the train coaches to ensure efficient, safer and faster train operations.
  • The Spectrum charges may be levied based on formula basis as prescribed by Department of Telecommunications for Royalty Charges and License Fee for Captive use as recommended by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.

MTRC system over Indian Railways:

  • Indian Railways has introduced Mobile Train Radio Communication (MTRC) system over Indian Railways.
  • The aim and objective for implementing MTRC is to establish direct voice communication between Loco Pilot, Station Master, Controller and also to use it for Modern Train Control System.
  • Works for the LTE based MTRC System over 34304 Route KM have been approved at a cost of ₹ 6861 crore.

Source: PIB-Press Release | Image Credit (representational): MoR

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