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The GSM-R (GSM-Railway) is an international mobile telephone standard for railway communications between the train and control centre, based on GSM technology. This makes it possible to benefit from economy of scale of the GSM and is a convenient alternative to the numerous and non interoperable alternative solutions used in the past. In addition to the basic GSM functionalities, the GSM-R system has a series of specific functionalities for the railway sector, as for example Railway Emergency Calls (REC), Functional numbering, the possibility to address the calls to the most appropriate control centre, based on the train’s location (Location Dependent Addressing) and Shunting mode.

The GSM-R system represents the trackside/on-board train communication part within the ERTMS/ETCS (European Rail Traffic Management System/European Train Control System), which is the rail traffic management, control and protection system and relative on-board signalling, designed to replace the numerous and incompatible systems of traffic flow and safety of the various European railways, thus ensuring interoperability.

The GSM-R section of the “Railway Certification Laboratory for signalling” deals with all CE certification activities of interoperability and national type approval of components and subsystems related to the GSM-R.