GSM-R is a mature technology. Still it is in continuous evolution and new features have been required by the railways. Requirements for new GSM-R functionality are articulated as Change Requests to EIRENE.
Change requests submitted to the ROC IG for review originate from current customers or European Railways with GSM-R projects in deployment, and are controlled by the change process set by the European Railway Agency (ERA). A technical sub-group within the IG (ROC TIG), comprising of experts from each of the member companies, is focused on the evolution of standards. This group provides technical assessment of change requests, evaluates impact on interoperability, technical feasibility and potential implementation costs.
The contribution of the ROC TIG to the change control process represents a significant contribution to maintain GSM-R standards and assures system interoperability across European countries.
The ROC IG supports the interests of the UIC and its members and works closely with the European Railway Agency (ERA). Its primarily objective is to support European interests towards full interoperability.
An essential requirement on GSM-R is the validation of EIRENE End-to-End Functionality while preserving Interoperability
Work is presently ongoing to control the evolution of GSM-R by a dedicated Version Management process. A harmonized GSM-R Version Management will define the process of updating the entire pan European GSM-R system from one EIRENE specification version to the next and ensure features are implemented across Europe at the lowest possible cost without affecting service levels and interoperability. Long term ROC IG planning within the Change Control process estimates an average of three years between consecutive EIRENE versions on average.
The ROC IG is working together with ERA, UIC, EIM and ERIG in the elaboration in the production of a Version Management document, which defines the principles of the Version Management implementation in Europe, its processes and financing.