Deutsche Bahn Begins Testing for High Speed Internet on Trains

Deutsche Bahn has announced that testing is now underway on infrastructure to create 5G corridors along its tracks, paving the way for high-speed internet on trains.

Through the Gigabit Innovation Track (GINT) research project, new radio masts are being installed and tested by network equipment provider Ericsson, telecommunications provider O2 Telefónica and radio mast operator Vantage Towers.

The innovative design of these masts significantly shortens construction time compared to standard infrastructure, enabling this milestone to be achieved just eight months from the project start and BMDV funding notice.

Vantage Towers needed just a month to build the 13 radio masts
Vantage Towers needed just a month to build the 13 radio masts

A ten-kilometre test route providing high-speed internet on trains is now in operation in the south of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.

Dr. Volker Wissing, Federal Minister for Digital Affairs and Transport said:

“From the funding decision to commissioning in just eight months – that is the speed we need when expanding the network. I very much hope that we can soon transfer the knowledge gained here to the rest of the network expansion. In a country like Germany, passengers rightly expect to be able to make phone calls and surf at high speed without interruption while travelling.”

This project aims to enable passengers to use high data rates during their journey for uninterrupted connectivity, thus making the train a more attractive travel choice.

In addition, the infrastructure contributes towards the further digitalisation of rail operations with the Future Rail Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) as the new masts have been designed so that the rail and mobile communications industries can use them together.

The new trackside masts are now being tested alongside combinations of radio units and antennas for mobile communications and railway radio.

Dr. Daniela Gerd tom Markotten, DB board member for digitalisation and technology said:

“We want our travellers to feel at home on the train. This also includes an excellent telephone and surfing experience. The GINT project shows that we can bring high-speed mobile communications to the train and the track in record time. In doing so, we are not only turning the train into a rolling office or home cinema, but at the same time creating the basis for future digitalization of rail transport with FRMCS.”

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