Assessing the usage feasibility of TV White Spaces for railway communication applications

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


External organisations

  • QinetiQ


Since telecommunications represent a strategic asset for the railway industry and a focal point for its evolution, it is important to consider emerging standards and technologies responding to the rapidly growing demand for mobile communication solutions in the railway domain. The prospect of opportunistic access to an inefficiently utilized frequency spectrum, known as TV whitespaces, was mainly proposed to solve the spectrum scarcity problem with desirable railway propagation characteristics. This research investigates the requirements of various railway communication applications against TV whitespaces characteristics, considering Rail Remote Condition Monitoring as an initial case study. The main objective is to specify and enhance the QoS parameters for the spectrum secondary users (rail network) in terms of throughput, availability, reliability and performance at speed while ensuring full protection for the spectrum primary users. A simulation scenario using BRaVE and OMNET++ was introduced for a train moving at maximum speed of 80 Km per hour between Selly-Oak and University Station, Birmingham, United Kingdom. Initial results indicate that TV White Spaces system can deliver average throughput of 1.47 Mbps per train. Coverage radius of 12 Km combined with perfectly aligned directional antenna in rural areas can ensure full protection for TV users while allowing higher transmission power for the rail TVWS network.


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2016 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Rail Transportation, ICIRT 2016
Publication statusPublished - 11 Oct 2016
Event2016 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Rail Transportation - Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 23 Aug 201625 Aug 2016


Conference2016 IEEE International Conference on Intelligent Rail Transportation
Abbreviated titleICIRT 2016
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • Dynamic Spectrum Access, OMNETT++, Railway Telecommunications, Remote Condition Monitoring, SEAMCAT, TV White Spaces