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Smart Rail Connectivity Campus: EQOS Kommunikation on board for the development of digital research infrastructure for highly automated rail transport

7. december 2023
  • Autonomous rail travel and expansion of high-performance mobile communications network along the test route between Annaberg-Buchholz and Schwarzenberg take centre stage
  • EQOS Kommunikation impresses as a full-service provider for a challenging commission
  • The latest 5G mobile communications generation enables real-time data transmission

As part of the “Smart Rail Connectivity Campus” (SRCC) research project, in which aspects of autonomous rail travel are being researched along the test route between Annaberg-Buchholz and Schwarzenberg in the Erzgebirge mountains, EQOS Kommunikation demonstrates its quality leadership in terms of infrastructure expansion for digital communication once again. As part of the expansion of the digital communications infrastructure for the SRCC, EQOS also combines the areas of telecommunications and rail transport in its complexity. Vodafone coordinates the development of the 5G infrastructure for Chemnitz University of Technology (TUC), which is essential for research in the field of autonomous rail transport on standard gauge tracks. The TUC is funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport to set up this infrastructure. The project is to be completed during the third quarter of 2024.

Modern communications infrastructure and innovative mobility

The project with the participation of EQOS initially consists of the expansion of a stable and fast mobile communications network with 5G standard. Innovative mobility technologies in the rail sector are to be developed to market maturity, thereby making a decisive contribution to sustainable rail transport and the transfer of research results to business and practice. It is expected that this innovation offensive will significantly boost the attractiveness of the region, which is also part of the Erzgebirge Mountains World Heritage Site, for the population and the economy.

“It is an honour for us as a full-service provider to have been selected to construct the wireless stations,” says René Ihl, Managing Director of EQOS Kommunikation. “We are the only player in the industry in Germany who can offer all network expansion work from a single source. Close coordination and transparent dialogue with all parties involved are a matter of course for EQOS Kommunikation. I would also like to make special mention of the excellent cooperation during project execution,” Ihl added.

EQOS Kommunikation uses patented mast type for two customised solutions

The centrepiece of the project in the Saxon Erzgebirge mountains is a 25-kilometre long, 5G-supported test railway line between Annaberg-Buchholz and Schwarzenberg. This dimension of the project requires a special feature: The distance between the individual radio masts is based on the needs of autonomous rail traffic and is therefore exceptionally short in some places at around 500 to 600 metres. EQOS Kommunikation will construct a total of ten of these masts, including system technology. Particularly demanding for the EQOS team: Widely differing local conditions make standardised solutions impossible – each individual mast turns into a challenge in and of itself. At two locations, a steel lattice mast developed and patented by EQOS Kommunikation is used as a customised solution with a special above-ground foundation including load-bearing elements due to the subsoil.

A 5G network as the basis for automated trains

5G mobile communications technology plays a central role in the project, since data transmission takes place via 5G with the lowest possible latency, maximum reliability, and high bandwidths. The 5G network and the server infrastructure for on-site data processing will be provided by Vodafone.

Photo: Marcel Steinert


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