German U-Bahn completes high speed 4G deployment 


The subway serves over one million passengers a day, all of which can now benefit from improved connectivity  

This week, the Berlin underground (U-Bahn) has completed the installation of a 4G mobile network, bringing high speed internet access to travellers throughout the subway system. 

Germany’s O2 Telefonica and Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), the German public transport company that operates the U-Bahn, worked together on the deployment. 

Data usage amongst subway users has increased sevenfold, up from 35,000GB in 2019, sparking need for increased connectivity. 

Beginning the project in 2019, O2 Telefonica has laid over 1,000 km of fibre, 360 tunnel antennas, 350 repeaters, and 30 base stations to ensure complete 4G coverage across the train network. To avoid disruption to the transport network, construction was carried out during the nightly breaks in the subway’s operation, at an average of just three hours per night. 

The project’s completion means that all nine lines and 175 stations now have 4G coverage. In the past, the network technology had been deployed in underground operating rooms along the route network, but now there are four above ground data centers that allow easier access to the base stations. This will mean that new hardware and software can be deployed more quickly, paving the way for 5G deployment. “Our Berlin subway network is complemented by another first-class network, the 4G/LTE mobile network,” said Franziska Giffey, Berlin’s senator for Economic Affairs, Energy and Enterprises and chairwoman of the BVG Supervisory Board in a press release. 

“Having reliably good cell phone reception in the subways, being able to access the Internet and send emails is all part of a modern metropolis for Berliners and guests of our city,” she continued. 

Mobile connectivity on public transport – particularly underground routes – has been a growing focus for operators around the world in recent years. In the UK for example, Transport for London has signed a 25-year strategic partnership with Boldyn Networks to deploy 4G and 5G on the London Underground. The deal, which was signed in June 2021, is worth £2.2 billion. 

Join us at this year’s Connected Germany, 5-6 November in Munich. Get tickets here! 

Also in the news:
Verizon Business and Cummins deal combines private 5G and neutral host tech
Samsung and Telefonica partner for German vRAN site
AT&T sheds cybersecurity division to create LevelBlue

Recent Posts