The Marseille metro in Southern France is all set to experience 4G mobile Connectivity in its stations and tunnels, allowing commuters to stay connected while underground. The Aix-Marseille-Provence Metropolis and the Regie des Transports de Marseille (RTM) have announced that 4G connection tests have commenced from July 17 until the end of August, leading to the official launch in September 2023, according to the official release.
A Collaborative Effort
Thanks to a multi-stakeholder effort, including Bouygues Telecom, Orange, SFR, and Free, this connectivity project is expected to transform the subway experience for thousands of daily passengers. Bouygues Telecom was entrusted with the responsibility of designing, engineering, and deploying the network, ensuring each operator can broadcast their 3G and 4G services.
Transforming 23 Stations and 20 km of Tunnels
Bouygues Telecom stated that as part of this endeavour, extensive infrastructure and network work had been carried out to equip 23 underground stations and 20 kilometres of tunnels with reliable 4G coverage.
An additional 40 kilometres of cables have been deployed, housing energy and optical fibres necessary to power the network and ensure seamless interoperability of 4G antennas.
A total of 236 shared antennas have been installed across the network, with 119 in stations and 117 in tunnels, ensuring complete coverage for all travellers.
Ensuring Optimal Coverage and Integration
Radio engineering solutions have been implemented to optimize coverage in the intricate underground environment, where radio propagation is known to be challenging.
"The Marseille metro will finally enter the 21st century: not only will 4G be available from the beginning of September, but also the first Neomma trains are about to arrive."
Preparing for Smooth 4G Services in September
During the testing phase, Bouygues Telecom has advised that travellers may experience intermittent and unreliable connections. However, technicians will work to make necessary adjustments to stabilize the system, and it is expected to be fully operational by September.
The networks have been designed to handle the usual attendance rates at each station, catering to the 321,000 daily trips recorded on the two metro lines in 2022.
Distributed Antenna System Solution
Distributed Antenna System (DAS), a solution that ensures a seamless indoor mobile network independent of the outdoor network, has been implemented.
The DAS system, connected to the Bouygues Telecom network via fibre optic access or radio beam, will provide commuters with the same quality of connection as on the surface network.
With 4G at their fingertips, the Marseille metro is set to cater to the connectivity needs of its passengers, bringing convenience and ease to their daily journeys.