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Better mobile coverage on trains

Press release   •   Mar 18, 2015 07:30 GMT

(Drammen - Oslo 17.03.2015) The goal is a better mobile experience for travellers as a result of NSB, the Norwegian National Rail Administration and Telenor teaming up to expand the 4G network along the country's busiest railways - initially around Oslo and Stavanger.

'This is a long awaited boost - particularly for commuters, who will be able to work uninterrupted on the way to and from work as a result of improved coverage,' says Bjørn Amundsen, Director of Coverage at Telenor.

'We will ensure all our customers enjoy a far better mobile experience on the train,' says Jan Christiansen, IT Project Director at NSB Persontog. We are very pleased that large parts of the rail network are being provided with 4G coverage. Over 60 million journeys are made by rail every year. In today's society, it is important that we offer great mobile coverage to each and every passenger.

'Stronger signal along our railway lines is very important in today's online society,' says Sverre Kjenne, Director of Signal and Telecom at the Norwegian National Rail Administration.

Coverage in tunnels
Travellers have long made the valid demand that there should be better and more stable mobile coverage available during train journeys. Requirements for capacity and availability are increasing in parallel with almost everyone now owning a smartphone and tablet with 4G support, while the number of passengers is also rising along with the use of mobile technology. NSB, Telenor and the Norwegian National Rail Administration have now agreed to coordinate their efforts to improve mobile coverage on the rail network.

Good mobile coverage on trains is dependent on there being available capacity along railway lines, and this capacity then being provided to passengers on those trains. In order for travellers to maintain connections throughout the journey, equipment also has to be installed to provide mobile signals inside tunnels.

Demanding work
The work to improve mobile coverage will be expensive and demanding, and will take several years. 

This partnership means joint prioritisation and planning of which routes will be launched first will be undertaken, as well as the coordination of work to be implemented and joint monitoring and development of solutions. The goal is to expand base stations and adapt rolling stock with the necessary equipment on a route-by-route basis.

Telenor will be responsible for upgrading and establishing base stations along railway lines. All work in this partnership will be coordinated so that efforts go according to the preferred plan. The route prioritisation for this work is outlined below.

NSB will ensure that updated receiving and transmitting equipment for mobile coverage is fitted on board the trains, and will maintain and upgrade this equipment so that travellers benefit from better mobile coverage where possible. This work will take place in dialogue with Telenor.

The Norwegian National Rail Administration will provide expertise and track access along all routes. Tunnel coverage is already provided on major sections of the chosen routes, and all new tunnels are constructed with the necessary equipment in place.

The partnership is not limited to the three companies, and other train and telecomms operators are welcome to participate.

Prioritised routes
During 2015, the follow rail routes are to be prioritised:

  • Oslo – Lørenskog – Gardermoen (The Trunk Line)
  • Oslo – Fredrikstad (The western line of the Østfold Line)
  • Oslo – Tønsberg (The Vestfold Line)
  • Stavanger – Bryne (The Jæren Line)

Several routes are proposed for development in 2016 and later, and the partners will determine the prioritisation of these at a later date.

Contact details:
Norwegian National Rail Administration Director of Signal and Telecom,
Sverre Kjenne, mobil: 922 16 005
Telenor Director of Coverage, Bjørn Amundsen, mobil: 900 21 000
NSB Persontog IT Project Director, Jan Christiansen, mobil: 916 52 418

About Telenor Norway

Telenor Norway is the biggest supplier of mobile and network services.

We deliever services within telephony, broadband and cable TV  through our mobile and fixed network all over Norway. We also sell our services to other telecom operators in Norway.

We have 4200 employees diveded over 30 workplaces all over Norway included Svalbard.