Cobham Wireless launches next generation GSM-R mobile communications tester

Cobham Wireless, a global leader in the provision of advanced wireless coverage and mobile communication systems, has announced the launch of a new mobile tester designed to test railway GSM-R communications systems.

Railway network operators and suppliers of GSM-R radios and modems need to be able to validate the correct operation of GSM-R radios, both in the laboratory and in the field. The Cobham Wireless 2201R is designed to connect directly to GSM-R device types including high-powered Class 2 radios, and is a replacement for the previous-generation 4202R tester. Portable, with an easy-to-use interface, the 2201R provides fast and accurate RF measurements and a full range of features including voice, data and SMS testing. Featuring optional battery operation with up to 2.5 hours life, the 2201R’s compact form-factor and light weight—just 6.2 kg including the battery—make it easy to perform full testing of the radio within the confines of a locomotive cab. The tester has handles at each corner, and the battery is conveniently located on the rear panel so that it can be unclipped for easy field replacement.

“The 2201R provides the test engineer with everything that is needed for comprehensive GSM-R validation,” said David Asquith, product manager at Cobham Wireless. “The same Lector software that provides full access to all features when creating test scripts in the laboratory also enables the same scripts to be run, using the Autotest feature, in the locomotive cab.”

2201R features and benefits

The 2201R features the simulation of group calls (VGCS) at various priority levels—including emergency calls—to verify the performance of not the only cab and mobile radios but also peripherals such as optical and acoustical alarms. These tests ensure proper performance of the overall radio system and help to verify that safety functions will work in an emergency.

The 2201R also allows voice group calls to and from the mobile to validate bi-directional communication.  For the mobile originated call, the tester decodes the group ID and priority level while performing measurements.

The short message service (SMS) function in the 2201R takes testing further by focusing on retrieving all the necessary parameters used by the phone for transferring messages that will help the technician to analyse faulty behaviour.

The 2201R can be used in three different modes:

  1. Manual, where the large colour display and clear operating instructions simplify manual measurements;
  2. Autotest, which enables the 2201R to run comprehensive tests without a PC – ideal where portability is required;
  3. Under remote control by the 7310 Lector and Scriptor product family, where test scripts may be created, modified and run.

More about GSM-R

GSM-R operates in the same bands as GSM: 900 MHz and 1800 MHz and replaces earlier analogue VHF railway communication systems. Although the GSM-R specification was finalised in 2000 and some European networks began deployment from 2006 onwards, networks are still being extended and continue to be rolled out in both EMEA and Africa, including China, India and Australia.

Call types include:

  • PtP Call: Point-to-Point Call
  • VGCS: Voice Group Call System, featuring push-to-talk
  • VBS: Voice Broadcast System
  • REC: Railways Emergency Call
  • SEC: Shunting Emergency Call


The 2201R Mobile Tester is available now, and includes GSM, GSM-R, Autotest and GSM-R test USIM card, with options for GPRS and EDGE plus an assortment of accessories.


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