Solution to address GSM-R interference

netprobe interference solution

Comtest Wireless offers solution to address GSM-R interference challenges (without a hiring a battalion of radio engineers)

Comtest Wireless, independent experts in the field of GSM-R and ERTMS test and monitoring solutions has launched a cost-effective solution to help rail and signalling operators detect and analyse GSM-R interference.

The increased adoption of ETCS level 2 signalling, incumbent 4G networks and signal strength changes by mobile operators, are just three key reasons why interference has become a significant challenge for the rail industry. As a result, the pressure has never been greater to ensure that interference issues in GSM-R voice and data communication are identified and resolved as quickly as possible, and to keep train services running.

Using proven Comtest Wireless technology, NetProbe Interference Modules provide rail and signalling operators with a complete solution to detect and analyse interference issues. As a result, the detailed interference reports can be used as a basis for engagement with mobile network operator (MNOs), third parties or legal entities, to address the issues.

Co-presenting with Trafikverket at a recent UIC Frequency Management Group Meeting in Italy, Carlo Ughetti, Director at Comtest Wireless showcased how the new NetProbe Interference solution is already helping its customers to detect and analyse GSM-R interference cost-effectively. He explained “we are known for our innovative solutions that detect and analyse GSM-R and ERTMS network performance issues, so it was a natural extension to develop a solution for GSM-R interference.

Our customers have welcomed the highly practical approach we have created. A typical solution gives them a toolkit that enables them to identify interference ‘hotspots’ using GSM-R performance data collection and analysis equipment installed on board operational trains. Our systems can perform tests with every GSM-R modem currently available in the market, making it easy to continuously signal levels (ie forcing UMTS 900) and therefore identify active operators and technologies. What’s more, they don’t need skilled operators, helping to keep operational expenses low.

Once the hotspots are identified, the next step is to obtain more detailed interference measurements, using calibrated and traceable instruments, such as, probes, smart sensors and test trains. As all the data is collected, compiled and stored in a central database in real-time, it is easy to conduct analysis and create detailed reports compliant with ECC 229 Report requirements.

This interference solution provides a professional, cost-effective approach to interference management (and it’s cheaper than hiring a battalion of radio engineers, which is not really an option in the rail sector)!”

Magnus Jakobsson who is responsible for implementing the Comtest Wireless solution at Trafikverket added, “the solution with unattended ‘boxes’ gives Trafikverket an automatic immediate response on how the GSM-R network is behaving in terms of RxLex, RxQ and relevant subset 093 parameters. Since it’s end-to-end testing, it also helps us to spot error problems on the fixed transmission side of GSM-R.”

Organisations requiring further information or a demo on the NetProbe interference solution, or to learn more about other GSM-R and ERTMS test and monitoring solutions, should email