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Kontron Transportation MCx solution - the future of GSM-R train radio functionalities for Secondary Lines

Based on the future FRMCS standardization (3GPP, ETSI), the Kontron Transportation MCx solution extends obsolete analog radio communication means with modern "state of the art" train radio functionalities, without the need to develop an own infrastructure.

Kontron Transportation MCx solution - the future of GSM-R train radio functionalities for Secondary Lines

Kontron Transportation has developed the MCx OTT (Over The Top) solution for Secondary Lines that cannot build their own infrastructure due to high investments in infrastructure. Here, the networks of the public providers are used as transport medium for the own MCx application with GSM-R features such as single call, group call and train emergency call.

Kontron offers the solution as a "hosted solution" in a data center or as a server solution in the railroad's own IT departments. IP-68 industrial-grade smartphones with an MCx client, IP-enabled dispatchers with several modern user interfaces, and cab radios that follow the FRMCS standard serve as end devices.

Since public networks do not always offer complete network coverage, the MCx OTT solution was further developed in cooperation with the Sauschwänzlebahn and the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Transport with regard to transmission security and enhanced with features such as a voice recorder, a heartbeat function, a messenger service and the dispatcher.

MCx projects

In October 2020, Kontron Transportation demonstrated the functions of MCx OTT in a two-week test at the Sauschwänzlebahn in Baden Württemberg, locally and on the moving train. The "hosted" solution was used, as this did not require any technical effort in terms of infrastructure on the part of the Sauschwänzlebahn. The MCx application was provided in a Kontron data center.

At the time, this was the first solution of its kind to be tested in an operational railroad environment. Kontron, together with the Sauschwänzlebahn and the Ministry of Transportation of Baden Württemberg, successfully executed a test catalog in which all functionalities could be flawlessly demonstrated.

In December 2020, Kontron Transportation received the first order for an MCx solution from Westfälische Landes-Eisenbahn. With this first important step on the way to a FRMCS-based future, the MCx solution replaces the old analog radio system without any additional investment in infrastructure. The Westfälische Landes-Eisenbahn also opted for a hosted solution in order to benefit from the reliability of a data center and to keep the costs of its own hardware and services as low as possible. The solution with MCx application, dispatcher and voice recorder is currently in the implementation phase.

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