Metro mobile service talks stalled

No progress has been made on getting voice and data service along tracks

Little progress has been made in getting mobile phone coverage into the Prague metro system. Both the Prague Public Transport Company (DPP) and the main mobile operators have stated that they want to have a signal throughout the tracks and not just at stations, but the two sides have not come to an agreement. An agreement had been expected to be signed in February.

Martina Kemrová of mobile operator T-Mobile Czech Republic told daily Pražský deník that since the announcement that mobile service would be installed there has been almost no progress on key issues. Cables and other infrastructure for voice and data need to be shared by the three big operators — T-Mobile, Cetin and Vodafone — for example.

Kemrová said there has been no agreement on specific conditions and the negotiations were quite complex.

The first line to be covered was supposed to be pilot service on metro C from Muzeum to Roztyly. The C or red line is the busiest of the city's three current lines. Right now no new deadline has been set for reaching an agreement and there is no estimate for when mobile service will start.

At the end of January, the city announced it approved the concept of signing a 17-year contract with the mobile operators for mobile service in the metro tunnels.

At that time, the estimated Kč 100 million cost for installing the service was to be paid for by the mobile operators, who would also pay rent for the use of the tunnels. Installation of the necessary infrastructure was be done at night, so as not to cause any station closures.

Bringing mobile service to the metro lines has been discussed for well over a decade, but has faced a series of delays and postponements.

Meanwhile, WiFi service has been introduced on some newer model trams.

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