Mobile service starts in metro

The first service in tunnels on the Metro C line has begun

A 4G mobile signal was launched Oct. 2 between Muzeum and IP Pavlova on the Metro C line. By the end of October, it will cover all the way to Roztyly, and the entire metro system should be covered by 2022.

This is the first part of the underground track in which passengers can both make calls and surf the internet.

The move comes just days before the Oct. 5–6 municipal elections and is part of a wave of projects either being started or announced.

The signal became possible this year after long negotiations between the city and the operators. “It makes me happy. In this first pilot phase, a signal will be launched in the Muzeum to IP Pavlova section, which I take as a first glimpse and confirmation that we have managed to keep the promise I gave to the public,” Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová (ANO) said on the City Hall website.

After several years of negotiations, a contract with a consortium of mobile operators was signed in April, setting out a timetable for work. “The negotiations with the consortium of the operators were long and demanding, but in the end, we reached an agreement and the signal is gradually getting into the metro,” Mayor Krnáčová said.

Cables and other infrastructure can be installed by workers only when the metro is closed in the night hours. In the public areas of the stations and in metro tunnels a 4G LTE signal will be available.

“I do not want to take all the glory as this is a small stretch, but the first checklists show that they have kept all the schedules. The installation of the technology is time-consuming, yet at the end of October the signal will cover the whole section from Muzeum to Roztyly,” Krnáčová added.

Lubomir Žatko, director of development and construction of the T-Mobile and Slovak Telekom networks, said it was a great success to cover the first station in less than four months. “A consortium of operators plans to invest about half a billion crowns in construction and cover the entire metro by 2022,” he added.

Last year, the city also launched public Wi-Fi connections in the first six metro stations — Hlavní nádraží, Pražského povstání, Náměstí Republiky, Smíchovské nádraží, Florenc B and Florenc C — and in September, the connection was extended to Muzeum.

“It's all about improving passenger comfort. In the 21st century, it would be a standard for people to sort out emails or read messages on their way to work, so I think it's right that along with the introduction of the mobile signal, the stations will also cover Wi-Fi connections,” Krnáčová said.

The entire metro should have been covered by a mobile signal in 2017, but this was delayed due to the lack of an agreement.

The Prague metro began operation in 1974 and now has three lines with 61 stations. It currently has a transit network 65.2 kilometers long.

Expanding WiFi coverage is part of a long-term city project not only for the metro. The Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) has introduced Wi-Fi in new Škoda 15T ForCity trams and some other trams as it modernizes the fleet. By 2022 DPP hopes to have 60 to 70 percent of the fleet covered.

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