O2 Telefonica (Telefonica Germany), in collaboration with Deutsche Bahn, Ericsson, and Vantage Towers, has commenced the construction of the test track called the "Gigabit Innovation Track" (GINT) project. The initiative, backed by around 6.4 million euros grant from the Federal Ministry of Digital and Transport (BMDV), aims to deliver gigabit 5G connections for rail passengers and mobile customers in the future.
The project, initiated in mid-November 2023, involves the construction of a ten-kilometer-long test track between Karow and Malchow. Telefonica Germany said thirteen cell towers are strategically deployed within a short time along the route to ensure seamless connectivity.
New Mast Concepts and 5G Technology
By deploying new mast concepts that are suitable for a particularly fast and uncomplicated expansion along the railways, the technology partners have eliminated the need for traditional concrete foundations. These masts, anchored with piles, can be swiftly upgraded with the latest 5G network technology by O2 Telefonica.
Network Coverage and Frequency Range
The 5G antennas operate on the 3.6 GHz frequency, which is suitable for fast data transmission rates, with a range of 500 to 1000 meters. Therefore, additional mobile phone locations are required to guarantee uninterrupted connectivity and complete network coverage.
According to Telefonica, the construction of the gigabit route is expected to be completed by the end of 2023. The first test drives, scheduled to commence in the spring of 2024, will feature the "Advanced Trainlab," Deutsche Bahn's experimental train on the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern route, travelling at speeds up to 140 kilometres per hour.
Upon completion of the test drives, the project will unveil its findings, showcasing the potential of high-speed 5G connections.