Prague, 30 September 2019 - As of today, the LTE high-speed mobile network can also be used in test operation for passengers on the C line of the Prague metro in the section Muzeum - Nádraží Holešovice. In the coming weeks, operators will continue to tune and refine the technology based on current traffic. Customers can thus use the latest generation of mobile services at a total of 16 stations and adjacent tunnels on lines A and C of the Prague metro. Mobile operators in cooperation with Prague City Hall, Prague Public Transit Co. (DPP) and CETIN are working intensively on further covering the Prague metro with the high-speed LTE network. By the end of March next year, the network will expand to 16 additional stations and adjacent tunnels on lines A and B. This step will cover stations in the wider center of the capital, which are also among the most difficult in terms of work. All stakeholders are doing their utmost to complete LTE's complete metro coverage by the end of 2021. DPP is also coordinating, in cooperation with the operators, the preparation of a new D-line project so that 4G signal coverage of new metro sections is already an organic part of construction .
Half of the stations covered by the end of March 2020
Currently, passengers can use 4G mobile services already in 16 stations and adjacent tunnels in the Bořislavka - Motol Hospital sections (4 stations) on the A line, on the C line in the Museum – Roztyly section (8 stations) and from today also in the Museum section. - Nádraží Holešovice (4 stations).
Currently, the consortium of operators in cooperation with DPP continues to cover other stations and adjacent metro tunnels in the city center. By the end of March 2020, the 4G standard will also receive 16 additional stations on busy sections in the center of Prague: at 6 stations on route A between the Museum and Dejvická and at 10 on route B between the Smíchov train station and Palmovka. Passengers will soon be able to use the high-speed LTE network at a total of 33 metro stations and adjoining tunnels, which is more than half of the entire extent of the Prague Underground.
In order to cover the LTE networks in the whole range of the metro, 28 stations and adjacent tunnels will still be equipped with state-of-the-art facilities. The original plan foresees coverage of the 4G signal in all sections by the end of 2022 at the latest. If work continues at the same pace as hitherto, it is likely that passengers will be able to use the 4G signal in all sections of the subway at the end of 2021.
“We have three main priorities in the subway: new line D, revitalization and barrier-free stations, and last but not least the coverage of all metro sections with the high-speed mobile LTE network. It fits into the strategy of DPP and the City Hall. city of Prague to become a strong competitor of individual transport. Without a range of basic services, to which the fast mobile network signal clearly belongs, and which are the standard in subway metropolis not only to the west but unfortunately also to the east of our borders, a significant proportion of citizens will still prefer car traffic, ”says Petr Witowski, Chairman of the Board of Directors and CEO of DPP adds: “We live in the online era, the signal in the Prague metro was supposed to be commonplace for a long time; I am therefore pleased that it is now possible to speed up the installation work and, at least in sections, improve passengers' comfort and enable them to carry out their normal on-line duties while driving. I firmly believe that operators will continue to do so in the coming months so that the whole metro will be covered by the LTE network by the end of 2021. We will do our utmost to do this. ”
Facts and behind-the-scene details
At its own expense. The consortium of mobile operators and CETIN covers Prague's 4G metro at its own expense. The construction is coordinated by T-Mobile Czech Republic. The coverage of the section between two stations costs on average CZK 10 million depending on its length.
Far away. The longest and the shortest interstation section in the Prague metro is located on the line C. The greatest distance (2,748) m is between the stations Holešovice and Kobylisy, where even the sightseeing cannot be completed in one night, but it has to be divided into two. On the other hand, the shortest section (425 m) leads from Muzeum C to Hlavní nádraží.
Only at night. Construction of the LTE network can take place in the metro only at night, in a short time of less than three hours when the trains do not run. The construction needs to be coordinated with the ongoing reconstruction of some of the stations and tunnels that take precedence and during which the LTE network cannot be installed. Every night, 70 operator technicians work in the subway. To install and assemble the LTE network into one station, 50 hours (+ hours of preparation before entering the tunnel) are needed, the tunnel coverage between the two stations will take 2 months in both directions.
Marble, concrete, cast iron… Ed Sheeran. Technicians encounter unexpected problems during construction. During the various stages of the construction of the metro itself, a variety of materials and procedures were used, which greatly complicates the installation work. It is almost true that whatever the tunnel or station, the other material: the excavated stations used concrete, and the stations and tunnels driven by cast iron. The unexpected combination of materials brings surprises at times and complicates installation work to a large extent.
The construction of the LTE network was also influenced, for example, by the June extra concert of Ed Sheeran in Letňany. The operation of the metro was extended until morning so that after the concert it was possible to transport the spectators back home more quickly, which of course meant a failure in the planned installation work.
The contract between DPP and teh Consortium signed in 2018 covers the coverage of existing routes as well as the procedure in the case of expanding the metro with other new stations or sections. In such a case, operators can ask for extension of service to newly built stations and tunnel sections. All stakeholders are currently coordinating further steps so that the planned D-line is covered during the construction of the new metro.
“The consortium of operators has successfully tested cooperation on routes A, B and C, and we are ready to use the experience to cover route D. We would like to get involved in the preparation of the new route construction from the beginning, which will make the construction really effective”, Lubor explains Žatko, Network Development and Delivery Manager at T-Mobile and Slovak Telekom, adds: “On behalf of the operators, I would like to thank all my colleagues on both the carrier and the city for their cooperation so far. I am confident that in the coming months and years we will be able to meet the needs of our customers and find together the best solutions for our customers. ”
T-Mobile Czech Republic, a member of the international telecommunications group Deutsche Telekom, has almost 6.2 million customers, the number-one operator in the Czech market. T-Mobile is an integrated operator: in addition to telecommunications services, it offers comprehensive ICT solutions not only for companies, but also for other organizations and individuals. It provides outstanding services in the high-speed network, which was proved repeatedly by benchmark testing performed by umlaut (former P3) with Best-in-Test seal.
T-Mobile Czech Republic places emphasis on taking a responsible approach to the environment and society. It adheres to fair business practices, helps beneficial applications and services to see the light of day, supports non-profit organizations, small businesses and individuals, and lends a helping hand whenever crisis situations arise. The company’s employees serve as volunteers in many places across the entire Czech Republic.
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