Berlin subway rolls out 4G mobile connectivity across underground system

Posted: 9 May 2024 | | No comments yet

The entire Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe subway system now boasts seamless 4G/LTE mobile coverage, revolutionising connectivity for daily commuters and visitors alike.

Berlin subway rolls out 4G mobile connectivity across underground system

In a significant development for Berlin’s subway system, passengers can now enjoy seamless connectivity underground, with a robust 4G/LTE mobile network spanning the entire Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG) network. This initiative, a joint effort between BVG and O2 Telefónica, promises high-speed internet access for all subway riders, regardless of their mobile provider.

“Having reliably good cell phone reception in the subways, being able to access the Internet and send emails is part of a modern metropolis for Berliners and guests of our city. We want to become the number one innovation location in Europe. We are also setting the course for this with the future-oriented expansion of mobile communications underground,” said Franziska Giffey, Berlin’s Senator for Economic Affairs, Energy and Enterprises and Chairwoman of the BVG Supervisory Board.

Traditionally, network technology has been scattered across various underground locations, hindering efficiency. Now, with the establishment of central “BTS Hotels” above ground, base stations can be accessed and updated promptly, laying the groundwork for future 5G implementation.

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“Our smartphones are our constant companions. No matter whether it’s a private chat or a work email – we all want to be online and at high speed, even on the subway. That’s why the comprehensive high-speed mobile network is an important step towards an even more attractive and modern mobility offering. At the same time, the powerful 4G network is the basis for us to be able to offer free Wi-Fi in our subway trains in the future,” said Henrik Falk, CEO of BVG.

Despite the successful implementation of mobile connectivity, the project’s completion faced a myriad of challenges, from navigating the intricacies of Berlin’s historic tunnel system to accommodating stringent safety and environmental regulations. Despite these setbacks, including pandemic-related delays, the network expansion now provides Berliners and visitors with connectivity beneath the city streets.

With improved connectivity, Berliners are embracing the subway’s evolution into the digital era, signalling further progress to come.

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