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Mobile Signal Boosters

Norske tog have signed a procurement contract of new 4G signal boosters for installation in its trains.

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About the project

Norske tog have signed a procurement contract of new 4G signal boosters for installation in its trains. When the boosters have been installed, travellers will experience faster internet speed, both for telecommunication and data.

Background

Norske tog is responsible for onboard mobile coverage on its trains, while telecom companies are responsible for the coverage alongside the railway tracks. Bane NOR is responsible for the signals inside tunnels.

Mobile coverage alongside the railway line in Norway has never been properly developed. In addition, the passenger coachwork curbs the available signals outside the trains.

The research company Simula is on a yearly basis publishing a coverage map report in Norway, commissioned for the Ministry of Transport. The latest report showed that 4G online coverage alongside the railway line has improved. However, the improvement is partly due to a recent change of old equipment to 4G equipment, rolled out by the telecom operators Telia, Telenor and ICE.


(Figure: From Norske togs annual report 2018 p. 58-59)

Norske tog have changed the older mobile signal boosters with modern multiband mobile signal boosters on the newest FLIRT trains. Different measurements show that the online coverage in these train have improved significantly. Older trains are either missing mobile signal boosters or have outdated equipment that does not support the data traffic.

The customers have experienced poor onboard network coverage. The Norwegian Railway Directorate’s have described alternative strategies to improve the network coverage in the report “Plan for improving network coverage for train passengers”. This vehicle strategy includes onboard installation of modern multiband mobile signal boosters in older trains.

In order to get the work quickly started, the fleet has been separated into two different Traffic Packages. The oldest rolling stocks have been excluded, as these rolling stocks gradually will be phased out as a part of the introduction of the new signal system ERTMS in 2026. Furthermore, there is less attenuation of mobile signals in the older coachwork.


(Figure: From Norske togs annual report 2018 p. 57)

The signed installation contract covers 36 train sets and 133 couches (Class 70, Class 73, Class 5, Class 7 and WLAB 2).

Facts

  • The Østfold Railway has been prioritised in this work due to the well-developed 4G infrastructure along the railway line.
  • Bane NOR is responsible for coverage inside the railway tunnels
  • Telecom companies (Telia, Telenor and ICE) are responsible for coverage along the railway line.
  • The optimal mobile signal booster system ensures that the available outside mobile signals also are available for the onboard passengers with the same strength.
  • The network speed goals is minimum 5mbit/s, which enables video streaming.
  • Norske tog, in collaboration with Simula Research Laboratory, have installed measurement nodes in selected passenger trains.
  • The network coverage strategy, which also includes increased terrestrial network coverage and Bane NORs network coverage inside tunnels, have a cost estimation of NOK 3,1 billion.

Planned progress


(Illustration: Norske tog)

2018 (December) Norske tog issued a call for tenders for installation of mobile signal boosters

2019 (October) Contract signed with SiteService

2020 (November-February) Development and testing

2020-2022 Installation start on all railway stocks operating the Sørland Railway

2022 Aims to finalise installation on all railway stocks operating the Sørland Railway


Operators

Partners
The Railway Directorate, Bane NOR, Telenor, Telia, ICE and Norske tog

Suppliers
SiteService AS

Other
Trains operators, train passengers, Norwegian Communications Authority, the Ministry of Transport.

Contact person

Kjell-Arthur Abrahamsen

Kjell-Arthur Abrahamsen

Assett Director

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Rune Andreassen

Rune Andreassen

Project Manager

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