4th FRMCS Plugtests
Author : Radio China       Source : www.radiochina.info

ETSI is organizing, with the support of the European Commission (EC), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), the Critical Communications Association (TCCA) and the Union Internationale des Chemins de fer (UIC), the 4th FRMCS (Future Railway Mobile Communication System) Plugtests event, which will be hosted by ETSI in Sophia Antipolis, France, from 1 to 5 July 2024. 

GSM-R is the current standard for the railway telecommunication services developed and maintained by ETSI TC RT. With the increased need for more throughout, higher capacity and flexible deployment options, FRMCS is being developed based on 3GPP Mission Critical Services.


Interoperability and Mission Critical services harmonisation are critical challenges for the successful deployment and operation of Mobile Broadband based communication Systems for various sectors, including Railways.

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 goal of the FRMCS Plugtests event Is 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. The FRMCS Plugtests event will test railways-oriented capabilities defined in 3GPP. This FRMCS Plugtests event is part of the MCX Plugtests programme.

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

  • FRMCS capable MCX Application Servers (MCPTT, MCDATA, MCVIDEO)

  • FRMCS capable MCX Clients (MCPTT, MCDATA, MCVIDEO)

  • UEs and Cab Radios

  • eMBMS Components

  • IMS / SIP Cores

  • Consoles and Control Rooms

  • Test Equipments

  • RAM Equipment (5G)

  • Packet cores (5G)

The purpose and scope of the FRMCS Plugtests event are to test independently and jointly all components of the Mobile communication System for Railways. Railway-related test cases are available in ETSI TS 103 564. Additional railway-oriented test cases focusing on GSM-R Interworking and Migration and Interconnection for MC services will also be developed for this Plugtests.


  •  Vendors which develop and produce above mentioned equipment.

  • All vendors must actively participate in the testing railway features.

  •  Products have to support Rail features like functional aliases, multi-talker, etc.

  •  Observers, which can be government organisations, mobile network operators, railways operators, users, agencies or regulators. Observers are welcome to help define the scope (i.e.functionality to be tested) for this event and to evaluate the tests statistics in the TRT (Test Reporting Tool). 

  • New Vendors and Observers have to sign the Rules of Engagement and Non-Disclosure Agreement of the MCX Plugtests Programme to participate.


  • To assess the level of interoperability of your implementations

  • To validate your understanding of the standards

  • To test with (many) other real implementations and demonstrate end-to-end interoperability

  • To debug your implementation: early bug fixing, saving time and costs

  • To promote the technology and the ecosystem


The focus of the observer program will be to examine and discuss the progress of deployment and the challenges of FRMCS. The observer program will be held onsite and will provide a platform to the various stake holders in railways to discuss the progress of FRMCS. 

The observer program will also include interoperability demos from interested vendors, which will show how their solutions meet the FRMCS Plugtests test cases and observer scenario use cases.

PLUGTESTS events are organized by ETSI and are co-funded by the European Union and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA).

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