GSM-R (GSM-Rail) is a digital radio system for railways based on GSM technology. GSM-R can be used for voice and data communications as well as for traffic control for railways (ETCS, Electronic Train Control System).
The GSM technology is extended with special features developed for rail traffic. As they are closed networks, it is possible to build special applications needed for the railroad environment. GSM-R is used for traffic control, serving amongst others engine drivers as well as personnel working on railroad works both along the rail network and in railway stations. The system ensures a more secure and smooth flow of train traffic. GSM-R is the European standard for railway communications and is already in commercial use in several European countries. This allows for a single international communication standard for train communication and also improves interoperability between the various railway companies within Europe.
The frequency band from 876 - 880 MHz / 921 - 925 MHz is made available across Europe for GSM-R. See ARFCN for the exact radio channels.
some countries have dedicated the band 873-876/918-921 as an extension band for GSM-R.
The development of GSM-R took place in the MORANE (Mobile Radio for Railways Networks in Europe) project.
Development of the successor of GSM-R is taking place under the name of FRMCS.