CommScope has been chosen by Italian operators Telecom Italia, Vodafone, WIND and H3G to provide and install a multi-operator, multi-band cellular coverage solution throughout the Rome Metro. The deployment will extend reliable wireless signals to passengers and staff throughout the system’s stations and passenger trains.
The CommScope solution, featuring its ION-M optical distributed antenna system and HELIAX transmission lines, will enable Rome’s citizens, visitors and tourists to enjoy reliable voice and data wireless services while riding on the Metro, including in tunnels and in stations. The three-phase project is expected to be completed in late 2012.
The project will enable 2G and 3G voice and data services for customers of Telecom Italia, Vodafone, WIND and H3G utilizing the GSM900, GSM1800 and UMTS frequencies utilized by the operators. ‘Multi-operator, multi-frequency band, and multi-technology standard are common scenarios when working on train projects such as these,’ said Samuel Buttarelli, sales director, Wireless Innovations, CommScope.
ION is an easy-to-scale, fiber-based coverage and capacity solution for indoor and outdoor applications, available in multiple power levels with a unique multi-band, multi-operator platform. CommScope’s off-air repeaters include a full line of pico and micro class RF enhancers and macro class digital nodes. CommScope’s repeaters provide RF signals for wide area coverage through antennas and are self-diagnosing, self-adaptive and available in multiple power classes.
Trains and metro systems are among the most complex wireless applications to deploy, because the move at a high speed, which complicates the hand-offs between radio cells. The situation can become even more complicated when a train travels between different countries, as the system may then have to deal with multiple frequencies and multiple operators
Philip Sorrells, VP Site Solutions at CommScope, told Wireless: 'The challenge is multiplied by the type of service subscribers expect. On trains people tend to text, check emails or watch a video rather than talk. That puts a larger drain on the capacity of the network and makes all the handoffs more complex and critical. So, our advance systems are critical to feeding demand and helping to drive higher subscriber rates for mobile operators.
‘It’s really about the ability of our system to manipulate multiple frequencies of bandwidths that services can be operated in and provide the air interface in a more precise way. The early versions were broad covering two or three train links, but to get more capacity you have to break that down into smaller segments or sectors. That creates a more complicated architecture for the RF,’ said Sorrells.
The equipment also has also been manufactured to very robust standards, as unlike static wireless equipment it has to handle the continual vibration created by the moving train.