Browse Prior Art Database

Real-time Payment for Railway On- and Off-Board Services

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000103553D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Apr-16
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-16
Document File: 7 page(s) / 68K

Publishing Venue

Siemens

Related People

Juergen Carstens: CONTACT

Abstract

Today, within the European Union, railway service providers are urged to implement a standardized digital based railway communication network, named GSM-Railway (GSM-R), as a replacement for a wide range of country-specific networks, which are based on analogous technology. This communication system, specified for the special needs of railway companies, is of interest for countries outside the European Union as well. The basic requirements of GSM-R are specified within the standardization body of the Union International des Chemins de Fer (UIC). The standard is called European Integrated Railway Radio Enhanced Network (EIRENE). Since EIRENE allows for country-specific enhancements of the basic GSM-R technology, there is already a wide range of optional non-standardized features. Due to the country specific regulations (esp. within the European Union), GSM-R operators are not allowed to use the GSM-R frequencies for public mobile communication. Therefore, a solution must be found in order to make use of the equipment and the infrastructure in a profitable way by means of attracting end consumers with value-added services without direct use of the GSM-R frequency. Therefore, it is proposed to introduce vouchers, which the customers can buy at special selling points at train stations or via resellers. With this prepaid vouchers, the customers are then able to pay cashless for on-board facilities and services, like board restaurant or souvenir shop. For customer and account identification, a dedicated bar code is printed on the voucher. The validity of the voucher can be freely defined and special loyalty/bonus programs can be offered. In the following, the access methods to the charging system are defined:

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Real-time Payment for Railway On- and Off-Board Services

Idea: Ling Chi Liu, DE-Berlin; Jochen Friebe, DE-Berlin

Today, within the European Union, railway service providers are urged to implement a standardized digital based railway communication network, named GSM-Railway (GSM-R), as a replacement for a wide range of country-specific networks, which are based on analogous technology. This communication system, specified for the special needs of railway companies, is of interest for countries outside the European Union as well.

The basic requirements of GSM-R are specified within the standardization body of the Union International des Chemins de Fer (UIC). The standard is called European Integrated Railway Radio Enhanced Network (EIRENE). Since EIRENE allows for country-specific enhancements of the basic GSM-R technology, there is already a wide range of optional non-standardized features. Due to the country specific regulations (esp. within the European Union), GSM-R operators are not allowed to use the GSM-R frequencies for public mobile communication. Therefore, a solution must be found in order to make use of the equipment and the infrastructure in a profitable way by means of attracting end consumers with value-added services without direct use of the GSM-R frequency.

Therefore, it is proposed to introduce vouchers, which the customers can buy at special selling points at train stations or via resellers. With this prepaid vouchers, the customers are then able to pay cashless for on-board facilities and services, like board restaurant or souvenir shop. For customer and account identification, a dedicated bar code is printed on the voucher. The validity of the voucher can be freely defined and special loyalty/bonus programs can be offered. In the following, the access methods to the charging system are defined:

1. Real-time Charging

For deducting the amount from the subscriber account, two different kinds of interfaces can be used:
a.) Event charging via Cisco Content Services Gateway (CSG) GPT' interface The cashier system, on-board or at train stations, supports the inter-working with the IN-based GSM-R system as it is part of the common GSM-R network architecture. The appropriate charging request is forwarded from the cashier system through the GPRS infrastructure to the GSM-R system via a Cisco CSG Rel. 5. The CSG generates the charging information and initiates the deduction of the subscriber's account. The CSG is interfacing the GSM-R solution via the proprietary interface GTP'.
b.) Event charging via http-based charging string

The cashier system at train stations supports the generation of http-based charging strings that contain the customer identification as well as the amount to be deducted from the customer account. The http-string is forwarded to the GSM-R system via the Payment Plug-In.

After successful deduction, a positive acknowledgement is sent back to the originator. A receipt can be printed out, accordingly...