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Spectrum allocation to Indian Railways and provision of more modern signalling solutions to boost all round safety in operations

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NEW DELHI: Signalling System enhances safety in train operations. Upgradation and replacement of equipments in use over Indian Railways is a continuous process and is undertaken based on its condition, operational needs and availability of resources.

In order to further improve safety in train operation and generate additional line capacity, modernisation of Signalling System has been taken in hand which includes –

Provision of Electronic Interlocking (EI) to increase Safety and Flexibility – Electronic Interlocking are being adopted on a large scale to derive benefits of digital technologies in train operation and to enhance safety. So far 2221 stations have been provided with Electronic Interlocking upto 30.04.2021 covering 34% of Indian Railways. A policy decision has also been taken to provide Electronic Interlocking (EI) in future. Further, 1550 EIs are planned to be provided in next 3 years. This will enhance safety and efficiency of train operations.

Automatic Block Signalling (ABS) to increase Line Capacity – In order to increase line capacity to run more trains on existing High Density Routes of Indian Railways, Automatic Block Signaling is a cost effective solution. As on 30.04.2021, Automatic Block Signaling has been provided on 3447 Route km. Indian Railways has planned roll out of automatic signalling on around 15000 Rkm of high density and freight intensive routes. The roll out is planned to be undertaken in Mission Mode. With implementation of automatic signalling, increase in capacity will accrue resulting in more train services becoming possible.

Safety at Level Crossing gates – Enhancing Safety at Level Crossing Gates has been a major area of concern. Safety gets enhanced by interlocking level crossings with Signals. As on 30.04.2021 Indian Railways have provided interlocking with Signals at 11705 Level Crossing Gates to enhance the safety at Level Crossings.

Automatic Train Protection (ATP) System as an aid to Loco Pilot to prevent human error – ATP systems are being used by advanced Railway systems in the world as an aid to the Loco Pilots. These systems prevent collisions due to any human error by Loco Pilot. In order to improve safety, a decision has now been taken to provide ATP systems on Indian Railways (IR) in a Mission Mode.

So far IR was dependent on foreign technology for ATP systems. IR with Indian firms has now successfully developed indigenous cost effective technology for ATP – called Train Collision Avoidance System (TCAS). It has been decided to adopt TCAS as the National ATP of India under the ‘AtmaNirbhar Bharat’ Mission of Hon’ble PM. TCAS has been approved for 37300 RKm covering important routes in 1st phase.

The roll out of TCAS will eliminate train collision due to human error and enhance speed potential of IR thereby reducing travel time.

It may be noted that giving a boost to ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ Mission, Government has approved allotment of 5 MHz Spectrum in 700 MHz frequency band to Indian Railways for public safety and security services at stations and in trains.

With this spectrum, Indian Railways has envisaged to provide Long Term Evolution (LTE) based Mobile Train Radio Communication on its route.

The estimated investment in the project is more than Rs. 25,000 Crore. The project will be completed in the next 5 years.

It brings a strategic shift in Railways’ operations and maintenance regime. It will help in improving the safety and increasing the line capacity to accommodate more trains using the existing infrastructure. The modern rail network will result in reduced transportation cost and higher efficiency. Also, it will attract multinational industries to set up manufacturing units to fulfill the ‘Make in India’ Mission and generate employment.

The purpose of the LTE for Indian Railways is to provide secure and reliable voice, video and data communication services for operational, safety and security applications of Railways. It will be used for :

Deployment of Modern Cab based Signalling System with Automatic Train Protection which will increased safety & throughput in train operation. Also, help during fog.

Mission Critical Voice Communication with seamless connectivity in train operations between Driver, Guard, Station Master, Train Traffic Controller & Maintenance staff.

Monitoring Limited Video Surveillance (Live Feed) through CCTV cameras in Trains to enhance passenger security.
For IoT based Asset monitoring specially the rolling stock.

Passenger Information Systems (PIS) in trains & at stations.

In addition to LTE initiative, Other major initiatives in Railway Telecom are:

Wi-Fi facility has been extended at 6002 stations and 101 balance feasible stations will be covered soon. Out of which 70% stations are of rural area.This facility is being used by passengers, local vendors, coolies, etc.

To improve security CCTV System has been provided at 801 stations and balance are also planned.
92% Route of the Railway has been covered with OFC based system (62,205 RKms). This is being used for Railway’s internal communication and spare capacity is being commercially utilized by RCIL.

Indian Railway is deploying e-filing system on a big way. To improve administrative works, e-office has been provided at 185 Units including all Divisions, Zones, CTIs & PUs. More than 1.35 Lakh users are using this and over 15.0 Lakh e-file are created till now. Existing physical files are being converted into digital files.

For above modernization of Signalling and Telecommunication, Indian Railways has envisaged investment of nearly Rs 55,000 crore.

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Appointments

Airtel appoints former Cabinet Secretary as independent director

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NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel, India’s premier communications solutions provider, today announced the appointment of PK Sinha and Shyamal Mukherjee as Independent Directors on its Board of Directors. The appointments are subject to approval by shareholders at Airtel’s upcoming Annual General Meeting.

PK Sinha, IAS (Retd.), served as the Cabinet Secretary for more than 4 years before moving to the Prime Minister’s Office. He retired from there in March 2021 after 44 years of continuous service to the nation. He has been a Government nominee Director in numerous major Public Sector Undertakings and is well versed with the principles of healthy corporate governance.

Shyamal Mukherjee is the former Chairman and Senior Partner of PwC lndia and was at the forefront of making PwC a future-ready firm. Shyamal began his professional journey with PwC in 1984 and became a partner in 1993. He held several leadership roles at PwC India, including Brand & Strategy leader and Leader of India Tax practice. Shyamal also serves as an Independent Director on the board of ITC Ltd and a member of its Audit Committee.

The Company added that Manish Kejriwal, Lead Independent Director, would be retiring on September 25, 2022 on completion of his second tenure. Shishir Priyadarshi would be leaving the board with effect from October 31, 2022 to devote time towards his other professior,21 commitments. D. K. Mittal IAS (Retd.), would be designated as Lead Independent Director with effect from September 26, 2022.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Airtel said: “Airtel takes pride in having one of the most distinguished Board of Directors that is committed to high standards of corporate governance. These appointments are made with a long term view – to make the board future-ready, address the long term requirements of the Company and ensure smooth transition in key board positions. On behalf of the Board, I welcome PK Sinha and Shyamal Mukherjee and their valuable experience will add immense value to Airtel’s growth journey. I also want to thank fv1ani:;h Kejriwal and Shishir Priyadarshi for their tremendous contribution to Airtel.”

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5g

Narendra Modi inaugurates India’s first 5G testbed; says aims to roll out 6G end of decade

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NEW DELHI: India is targeting the rollout of 6G telecom network, which will provide ultra high speed internet connectivity, by the end of the decade, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.

India currently has 3G and 4G telecom networks and companies are gearing up to launch 5G over the next few months.

Speaking at the silver jubilee event of telecom sector regulator TRAI here, he said it is estimated that the 5G network rollout will add USD 450 billion to the Indian economy.

“This is not just increasing internet speed but also the pace of development and creating jobs,” he said, adding the 5G technology will bring positive change in governance of the country, ease of living and ease of doing business.

It will boost growth in agriculture, health, education, infrastructure and logistics, he said.

Connectivity, Modi said, will decide the progress of the country in the 21st century and so modern day infrastructure needs to be rolled out.

According to the prime minister, a task force has started work on rolling out 6G network by the end of the decade.

Taking potshots at the previous Congress-led UPA government, Modi said the 2G era was symbolic of policy paralysis and corruption.

The country, under his government, has moved transparently to 4G and is now going to 5G.

Teledensity and internet users are fast expanding, he said, adding that mobile manufacturing units in India have expanded from 2 to over 200 and the country is now the world’s biggest mobile manufacturing hub.

The prime minister also said that his government has encouraged healthy competition that has led to India having one of the cheapest telecom data charges in the world.

Indigenous 5G test bed in telecom sector is an important step in India’s self-reliance, he added.

PM Modi virtually inaugurates India’s first 5G testbed costing Rs 220 crore

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday inaugurated the country’s first 5G testbed to enable startups and industry players to test and validate their products locally and reduce dependence on foreign facilities.

The testbed has been set up at a cost of around Rs 220 crore. Speaking at the silver jubilee celebrations of the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), the Prime Minister said the 5G testbed is an important step for self-reliance in the direction of critical and modern technologies.

“I invite youth friends, researchers and companies to utilise the testing facility for making 5G technology,” Modi said.

The 5G testbed has been developed as a multi-institute collaborative project by eight institutes led by IIT Madras.

In the absence of a 5G testbed, startups and other industry players were required to go abroad to test and validate their products for installation in a 5G network.

The other institutes that participated in the project are IIT Delhi, IIT Hyderabad, IIT Bombay, IIT Kanpur, IISc Bangalore, Society for Applied Microwave Electronics Engineering & Research (SAMEER) and Centre of Excellence in Wireless Technology (CEWiT).

The testbed facility will be available at 5 different locations.

Source: Press Trust of India

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5g

5G now in 1947 cities across 72 countries

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NEW DELHI: Viavi Solutions said that it has released new industry data revealing that the number of cities with 5G networks now stands at 1,947 globally. Despite the pandemic, 5G cities came online at a rate of nearly two per day, with the addition of 635 new 5G cities in 2021, according to the new VIAVI report “The State of 5G,” now in its sixth year.

By the end of January 2022, 72 countries had 5G networks in place, with the newest crop of 5G countries comprising Argentina, Bhutan, Kenya, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Malta and Mauritius, which all came online in the second half of 2021. Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) has overtaken Asia Pacific including Greater China (APAC) to become the region with the most 5G cities at 839. APAC has 689 5G cities and the Americas has 419.

Not surprisingly, the world’s two largest economies, the United States and China are the countries with the most 5G cities. China now has 356 5G cities and the United States has 296. The Philippines remained in the third spot globally with a total of 98 5G cities.

Currently, most 5G networks deployed are Non-Standalone (NSA) networks, meaning that 5G equipment is added to existing 4G network infrastructure. There are currently 24 Standalone (SA) 5G networks globally, meaning that they have been built using a new 5G core network. It is widely considered that many of the next-generation use cases and monetization models associated with 5G, beyond enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) will only be possible when Standalone 5G networks built on new 5G core networks are in place.

The State of 5G also highlights the growing Open RAN ecosystem, combining mobile operators as well as software and infrastructure vendors, seeking to develop an open, virtualized Radio Access Network (RAN) with embedded Artificial Intelligence (AI) control. As of March 2022, 64 operators have publicly announced their participation in the development of Open RAN networks. This breaks down to 23 live deployments of Open RAN networks, 34 in the trial phase with a further seven operators that have publicly announced they are in the pre-trial phase.

“5G continued to expand, despite the headwinds of a global pandemic,” said Sameh Yamany, CTO, VIAVI Solutions. “What comes next in 5G is the reinforcement of networks. This will take a couple of forms. Firstly, we expect to see more Standalone 5G networks, which will deliver on much of the promise of 5G, both for the operator and for the wider ecosystem of users. And secondly, we expect to see Open RAN continue its rapid development and start to become a de facto standard. VIAVI will continue to play a central role in testing those new networks as they are built and expanded.”

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