Prague extends high-speed mobile network service to all metro tunnels

LTE (and in most cases 5G) network coverage has now been extended to the entire Prague metro network, save for the Jiřího z Poděbrad station.

Jason Pirodsky

Written by Jason Pirodsky Published on 27.12.2021 13:32:00 (updated on 27.12.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague's public transport authority DPP has a little end-of-the year gift for frequent travelers on the city's extensive metro network. The culmination of more than six years of work, LTE (and in most cases 5G) network service has now been fully extended through all 63 kilometers of tunnels that make up the Prague metro.

Passengers on Prague's metro can now enjoy uninterrupted high-speed mobile network service throughout the entire system, save for one brief exception: while the tunnels surrounding Jiřího z Poděbrad on line A now boast network service, the station itself still lacks a full connection.

Those travelling through Jiřího z Poděbrad will have to wait a little longer for complete coverage. Installation of 5G and LTE service at the station has been coordinated to occur alongside renovations to the station itself that include new barrier-free elevators. Work on the station is expected to be completed by the end of 2024.

Throughout 2021, LTE and 5G network service was launched at Flora, Želivského, Strašnická, Skalka, Depot Hostivař on Line A; Zličín, Stodůlky, Luka, Nové Butovice, Jinonice, Radlická, Vysočanská, Kolbenova, Hloubětín, Rajská zahrada, and Černý Most on Line B; and Kobylisy, Ládví, Střížkov, Prosek, and Letňany on Line C.

Last week, DPP announced that coverage had been extended through the final segment of metro tunnels, between Rajská zahrada and Černý Most on route B.

Work on installing uninterrupted network service in Prague's metro began more than six years ago, when LTE service was launched at the then-new stations on Line A between Dejvická and Nemocnice Motol in April, 2015. Installation on subsequent stations took place over the next 6.5 years.

Because installation could only take place when the metro was not operational, technicians had a brief window of three hours each night to carry out their work. Originally scheduled to be completed by the end 2022, DPP was able to accelerate progress and launch full coverage a year in advance.

With the exception of the Jiřího z Poděbrad station, passengers can now enjoy uninterrupted coverage at all tunnels, platforms, transfer corridors, lobbies, and escalators throughout Prague's entire metro network.

As the higher-speed 5G network gained popularity, DPP made the decision to install it alongside LTE at all stations and through all tunnels; in doing so, Prague's metro became the first in Europe to see 5G coverage. Sixty of Prague's 61 metro stations now carry LTE coverage, and 56 boast 5G.

Along with Jiřího z Poděbrad, the section of Line A between Bořislavka and Nemocnice Motol still lacks 5G coverage. Installation of coverage on this section is expected to take place during the first three months of 2022.

Work on installing the mobile coverage throughout Prague's metro was conducted by DPP along with the Czech Republic's major operators, O2, Vodafone, and T-Mobile, along with telecommunications company CETIN. The cost of the project, at more than half of a billion crowns, was fully covered by the mobile operators and CETIN.

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