T-Mobile is improving motorway coverage

  • Mobile signal strength is significantly decreased in modern cars
  • T-Mobile is improving the performance of transmitters and adjusting their settings in order to guarantee its customers the required quality of calls 

Prague, 15 August 2012 – T-Mobile is strengthening its network in the vicinity of motorways and limited-access roads. Adjustments on more than a hundred transmitters will help customers cope with decreased signal strength in cars, as the structure of cars has a negative impact on the quality of coverage on roads. 

“We are changing the network settings gradually without interrupting operation. Our customers will feel the change in smoother calls in cars, in particular in the areas where for various reasons – for example due to nature conservation – we are unable to build more base stations,” says Slavomír Kadidlo, Senior Head of Network Quality Assurance at T-Mobile.  

Smaller mobile phones vs. larger cars
While mobile phones are being miniaturised with the elimination of external antennas and, thanks to denser coverage, they can operate with substantially lower transmission performance, the evolution of cars is heading in the opposite direction. Car bodies are more massive and producers also use special heated metal-oxide windshields or at least films serving as thermal insulation on air-conditioned cars.

A car thus works as a Faraday cage; electromagnetic radiation (which also includes mobile networks) has limited penetration, while most of it is conducted along the surface of the car body. For compact cars (e.g. Škoda Octavia), the loss inside the car is approximately 20 dB, which corresponds approximately to a 30% decrease in signal strength. In more expensive cars equipped with heated windshields, the loss can be up to 40 dB, so reception worsens by up to 60%. 

So getting in a car means a reduction in signal quality regardless of how well the destination area is covered. 

T-Mobile is strengthening the network along motorways and major roads
T-Mobile is significantly improving coverage along important roads, in particular all motorways and most limited-access roads. Customers can thus look forward to more stable calls, e.g. along the D1, D2, D5 and D11 motorways; in total, this involves more than 100 transmitters. 

The strengthening of the network is being carried out mainly through adjustment of the antenna parameters of transmitters, boosting their performance, and in some cases also by adding new antennas. T-Mobile engineers are also optimising the parameters concerning call handover between cells. 

The changes made can be seen particularly in increased stability of voice calls as well as data transfers; dropping calls when travelling on a motorway or a highway should thus be minimised. 

More tips for better calls in the car
T-Mobile is also adding several tips for the best ways to cope with deteriorating calling conditions when using telephones in cars: 

  • opening at least one window disrupts the effect of the Faraday cage (though a new problem that arises is increased noise);
  • a handset placed on the dashboard does in fact work better than in the door compartment or under the radio. However, always use a suitable holder or the modern nano-pad;
  • a handsfree car kit does not help reception quality unless it is equipped with an external antenna. However, it increases driving safety.

About the Company

T-Mobile Czech Republic, a member of the international telecommunications group Deutsche Telekom, is with its almost 6.2 million customers the number-one operator in the Czech market. T-Mobile is an integrated operator: in addition to converged telecommunications services, it offers TV and comprehensive ICT solutions. 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.

More information about the company is available at www.t-mobile.cz, www.t-press.cz (the portal for journalists), www.t-mobile.cz/pomahame (information on the company’s CSR activities) and www.rozjezdy.cz (T-Mobile Takeoffs of the Year – a program to support small businesses).

Contact details of the press unit: press@t-press.cz.