Driven by the intention of the member States of the European Union to introduce a Pan-European Rail Traffic Network and assure railways business competitiveness, 32 countries decided to work together on the specification of a European standard for train control and communication system. Railways identified their common operational requirements and various technologies were evaluated.
GSM was selected as the technology for railway communication:
A GSM-R platform offers enhanced functionalities and improved performance in terms of quality of service while guaranteeing data and voice communication at speed up to 350 km/h.
The GSM-R standard specification is subdivided in two EIRENE (UIC GSM-R specification project) documents:
UIC issued the first formal versions FRS 5/SRS 13 in December 2000. Version FRS 6/SRS 14 was issued almost 3 years later in October 2003 followed by version FRS 7/SRS 15 another 2 ½ years later in May 2006.