CONSORT participates in ETSI 2nd FRMCS plugtests

ETSI, with the support of the European Commission (EC), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the Critical Communications Association (TCCA) and the Union Internatinale des Chemins de fer (UIC), organised the FRMCS (Future Railway Mobile Communication System) Plugtests event, which took place as a remote-only event from 16th to 20th May 2022.

Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) is the future worldwide telecommunication system designed by UIC, in close cooperation with the different stakeholders from the rail sector, as a key enabler for rail transport digitization.
This FRMCS Plugtests event focused on Over-The-Top (OTT) tests via VPN connections from the vendor labs, following the approach used during the pre-test stages in previous MCX Plugtests events and in the MCX#5 Plugtests remote event.

 What are the objectives and scope of FRMCS plugtests ?

The concept of Mission Critical Services such as “Mission Critical Push To Talk” (MCPTT), “Mission Critical Data” (MCData) and “Mission Critical Video” (MCVideo) started with 3GPP Release-13 and is ongoing in current Releases. The Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) is based on these Mission Critical Features.

The FRMCS Plugtests event tested railways-oriented capabilities like Functional Aliases, Multi-talker, etc., defined in 3GPP Release-15 and Release-16. This FRMCS Plugtests event was part of the MCX Plugtests programme.

The goal of the FRMCS Plugtests event was to validate the interoperability of a variety of implementations using different test scenarios based on the 3GPP Mission Critical Services framework with focus on the rail specific features, which is also used for Mobile Communication System for Railways.

The tests were based on 3GPP, ETSI and IETF standards, and were designed for the following equipment:

  • MCX Application Servers (MCPTT, MCDATA, MCVIDEO)
  • UEs and Cab Radios
  • eMBMS Components
  • IMS / SIP Cores
  • Consoles and Control Rooms
  • Railways Test Equipments
 About ETSI

ETSI provides members with an open and inclusive environment to support the timely development, ratification and testing of globally applicable standards for ICT-enabled systems, applications and services across all sectors of industry and society. We are a not-for-profit body with more than 900member organizations worldwide, drawn from 65 countries and five continents. Members comprise a diversified pool of large and small private companies, research entities, academia, government and public organizations. ETSI is officially recognized by the EU as a European Standards Organization (ESO). For more information please  visit:


Future Rail Mobile Communication System (FRMCS)

An essential step is now allocated to TC RT in studying the next generation end-to-end system architecture for rail transportation supporting multiple access technologies. TC RT continues to work closely with the International Union of Railways (UIC) proposed use cases and user requirements for FRMCS and is heavily involved in the standardization process for Mission Critical Communications within 3GPP for the normative specifications development related to FRMCS encompassing the user requirements. Ongoing challenges in this work include positioning aspects, train speed up to 500km/h and the integration of rail frequency spectra for the use of 3GPP radio technologies with a focus on 5G New Radio (NR). TC RT is also deeply involved in spectrum issues related to FRMCS and radio performance simulations in 900 MHz FDD and 1 900 MHz TDD spectrum for both LTE and 5G New Radio (NR) technology. FRMCS normative work in response to includes, among other things, the FRMCS System Architecture (TS 103 764) as well as FRMCS building blocks and functions (TS 103 765). A first set of FRMCS Technical Specifications is expected to be finalized by the end of 2022.

About 3GPP

The 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) project covers cellular telecommunications technologies, including radio access, core network and service capabilities, which provide a complete system description for mobile telecommunications. For more information please  visit:

3GPP unites [Seven] telecommunications standard development organizations (ARIB, ATIS, CCSA, ETSI, TSDSI, TTA, TTC) and provides their members with a stable environment to produce the Reports and Specifications that define 3GPP technologies.

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