My visit to Melbourne last week saw me present at AusRail 2016. For those of you that are new to the Australian rail sector, AusRAIL has undoubtedly been the largest rail industry event in the Australasian region for a number of years. It is an itinerant event that takes place in a different city each year – it was Sydney in 2013, Perth in 2014, and Melbourne in 2015. Most major players – suppliers, integrators, contractors and designers – take part, as well as many smaller actors that still play an important role in market niches within the rail sector.

All in all, it is an exceptionally well-organised event, and I was privileged to be invited to present a technical paper for a second consecutive year.

With the last two years or so experiencing the rumblings of a quiet revolution in the CBTC arena, the topic I chose to speak on was Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) over the LTE interface.

The technical presentation examined the requirements that a radio data transmission network must meet to serve as the train-to-wayside radio bearer for a Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) system. Those requirements were first considered through a data traffic model, and then mapped against the capabilities of a Long Term Evolution (LTE) radio network, in order to identify the necessary configuration parameters and the network architecture.

The examination of the resulting parameters and architecture characteristics lead to conclusion that public mobile telephony LTE networks may not be suitable to support CBTC systems, although private LTE networks can be configured to fulfil that mission.

The moment, I believe, is ripe for the greatest technology swap in over a decade.

The full White Paper is now available and I invite you to download the paper.