Mobile network coverage of the railway corridors

CTU publishes results of the first-ever measurement of all mobile networks coverage of the transit railway corridors. Criteria of the auction of frequencies for LTE networks set out an obligation for the operators to cover at least 50% of the length of the corridors until spring 2019. The corridors, highways and motorways shall be covered for the whole length in the following two years.

corridor

operator

LTE

LTE+UMTS

GSM

outdoor

indoor

outdoor

indoor

outdoor

indoor

I.

T-Mobile

91,10%

63,30%

96,40%

69,80%

99,90%

95,30%

O2

85,20%

56,90%

96,10%

67,20%

99,93%

96,50%

Vodafone

93,60%

62,90%

98,20%

70,80%

99,85%

95,77%

II.

T-Mobile

83,30%

45,30%

94,70%

56,80%

99,94%

97,99%

O2

85,90%

53,30%

95,20%

61,10%

99,97%

97,21%

Vodafone

96,70%

51,70%

99,00%

64,50%

99,92%

95,52%

III.

T-Mobile

89,40%

65,10%

95,10%

69,90%

99,86%

93,90%

O2

93,20%

67,90%

93,30%

72,30%

99,84%

94,70%

Vodafone

96,10%

66,20%

98,20%

68,50%

99,86%

91,79%

IV.

T-Mobile

96,30%

76,40%

99,10%

79,60%

99,95%

97,15%

O2

90,60%

70,00%

98,10%

76,40%

99,95%

97,86%

Vodafone

97,80%

64,70%

98,30%

71,00%

99,94%

94,18%

The weakest coverage was found along the railway corridor II. (Petrovice u Karviné – Ostrava – Přerov – Břeclav), where ratio of the points covered to those uncovered in LTE networks is approximately the same. On the contrary, the best figures were shown along the railway corridor IV. (Děčin – Praha – České Budějovice – Horní Dvořiště), where the LTE networks cover up to 75% of the length of the corridor.

Moreover, the measurement carried out at the end of April shown that the network coverage is fragmented with very fast changing of the covered parts and the uncovered ones. With regard to the time needed for establishing connection to the network, the mobile telephones indicate a subjective level of the network coverage lower than the one measured.

Effect of the construction of railway wagons

As earlier pointed out by CTU in the previous press release, there is a significant influence of the wagon construction and its permeability of electromagnetic waves on the quality of connection. Among the wagons operated on the Czech railways there are even ten-thousandfold differences. Although the network coverage will reach 100% until 2021, access to the mobile network services for passengers will be limited without further technical measures. It must be ensured e.g. by using repeaters or installing picocells for the wagon interiors. 

For the purpose of presenting the results of the measurement, CTU has been preparing a web application which will be extended for a visualisation of the data obtained on the basis of the measurement of coverage of the highways and motorways. Until the application is finished, CTU publishes the results of the measurement in detail in an extensive document (48 MB PDF) as a report with graphical annexes and in open data format.

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