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Berlin Subway now offers 4G LTE Connectivity throughout

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In Short:

Passengers of the Berlin subway can now enjoy uninterrupted 4G LTE connectivity thanks to a joint project by O2 Telefonica and Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe. The deployment included laying fiber, installing antennas, and creating a new network architecture. This modern network will also pave the way for future 5G connectivity. Major mobile operators like Deutsche Telekom and Vodafone will benefit, improving commuter experience in the subway.

Berlin Subway Rolls Out 4G LTE Connectivity Project
Passengers of the Berlin subway can now experience uninterrupted high-speed 4G LTE connectivity while on the go on all underground routes, as O2 Telefonica (Telefonica Germany) and Berliner Verkehrsbetriebe (BVG), the public transport company of Berlin, have completed the deployment of 4G LTE mobile network as project leaders. With this, customers of all major mobile operators including Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, and Telefonica Germany can now benefit from 4G connectivity in the Berlin subway.

Seamless Connectivity Deployment

Telefonica led the project to improve mobile coverage by creating a completely new architecture for shared use, laying 1,000 km of fibre, and installing over 360 antennas, 350 repeaters, and 30 base stations in the tunnels.

Previously, the network technology was distributed over various underground operating spaces along the route network. From now on, four central above-ground data centres – the so-called “BTS Hotels” – offer access to the base stations, allowing major mobile operators to feed in new hardware and software much faster, Telefonica said.

The modern network architecture is further optimized to improve the quality in addition to basic expansion, laying the foundation for 5G. In the first step, the mobile operators will build a 5G network on the 3.6 GHz frequency band, Telefonica added.

Enhanced Commuter Experience

“We are proud that we have successfully completed the largest indoor mobile project in Germany. Berliners as well as guests from home and abroad now also have the high network comfort they are otherwise used to in the city in the subway. We have not only expanded the network but also created a completely new mobile infrastructure that offers an optimal basis for the network of the future. The network expansion will continue without a break: We supply Berlin with fast 5G on a large scale and will drive the expansion both above and underground,” says O2 Telefonica.

“This allows all Berliners and guests in our federal capital to surf and stream on any of the three German mobile networks when they are on the subway. Now is the time to take the next step and also to provide the latest technology on the routes with 5G,” says Deutsche Telekom.

Additionally, O2 Telefonica reported that the daily use of its customers in the subway has increased sevenfold to around 35,000 GB since 2019.

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