Today, it’s been confirmed officially by Samsung and Korean telecom firm KT, that the LTE-Railway (LTE-R) network for the new Wonju-Gangneung high-speed train line has gone live, marking the very first occasion where LTE-R technology is applied to a high-speed train. The service includes key features like Mission-Critical Push-to-talk (MCPTT) based on the 3GPP standards Release 13 on a train running at a speed of 250 km/hour in PyeongChang, Korea winter sports region.

The Wonju-Gangneung line is operated by the Korea Rail Network Authority (KRNA). It spans over a length of 120 kilometers. Its purpose is to provide faster and easier access to the largest winter sports facilities in Korea including PyeongChang to the public. The latest LTE-R network will be available across 7 stations along the line. It is made interoperable with the help of legacy Trunked Radio System (TRS), Very High Frequency (VHF) systems and the national Public-Safety LTE (PS-LTE) network.

Yihan Kim, Senior Vice President and Head of Enterprise Business Performing Unit of KT, was quoted, “We are delighted to work with Samsung to provide critical communications systems for this brand new high-speed train line. The new line puts Gangneung only two hours away from Seoul, and LTE-R will make the journey for PyeongChang visitors a much safer and reliable experience.”

GY Seo, Senior Vice President and Head of Global Sales and Marketing Team in Networks Business, Samsung Electronics, was quoted, “Following Samsung’s first commercial deployment of LTE-R at the Busan Metro last April, this new implementation demonstrates the maturation and validation of our LTE-R solutions for high-speed trains.
We look forward to continued collaboration with KT in the deployment of the most innovative critical-communications technologies across the country.”

LTE-R is basically a next-generation communications technology. It is exclusively designed for smart train and metro services. It is very much capable of providing high-speed wireless voice and data communications irrespective of whether it’s inside trains, from the train to ground or from the train to train. LTE-R is particularly renowned for its ability to provide smooth and stable mission-critical communications like MCPTT, group calls and VoLTE, in-between train personnel and control centers. Samsung is providing their radio network operating in 700 MHz, a global band for LTE-based Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR), a dedicated core network including EPC, IMS and PTT servers deployed in two control centers and rugged smartphones (SM-G888N0) for professionals as well.

Samsung is the leading LTE-R supplier of Korea. Back in 2015, Samsung was elected to supply for all five LTE-R projects in Korea. Samsung’s LTE-R solution is already in service on the 41 kilometers long Busan Metro line. It was launched in April 2017. The line covers 40 stations in Korea’s second largest city and also the first case of LTE-R technology being implemented during operation of a train or metro in the country. The work on the line between Incheon International Airport and Seoul Station near the center of the Capital is currently at work.

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