Cell phone reception comes to Gautrain Stations 2 years late

Cell phone reception comes to Gautrain 1 year late

2 years late, but Vodacom customers would be happy to hear that they can make calls inside the Gautrain stations.

Back in December 2012, I attended presentation where the Gauteng MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi, has announced that “full mobile communications services should be made available to Gautrain commuters by July 2014.”

This increase in coverage will be done over time and in three phases:

  • Phase one: ensure that voice communications services are provided at all underground  – June 2013.
  • Phase two: cell phone coverage in the 15 km tunnel section of the Gautrain s – December 2013.
  • Phase three: connectivity throughout the 80 km rail system of Gautrain – July 2014.

 

It is now 1 July 2015, a full 2 years late when phase one was due to be completed, and today, Vodacom announced that in partnership with the Department of Roads and Transport, the Gautrain Management Agency, Bombela Concession Company and the Strategic Partners Group, have been busy implementing a communication solution to ensure the stations no longer have coverage dead zones.

The official press release states that “The solution is made up of distributed antenna systems located throughout the three stations. Each of these systems is connected via fibre-optic cable to network equipment located in Rosebank. 2G, 3G, and LTE (4G) services will all be enabled with this solution.

“This is the first phase of the process. Our next task is to work on ensuring that we have a seamless service throughout the Gautrain route. That means not dropping a call when you go into a tunnel. We’re currently in talks with our partners to roll this out,” said Delport. “

MTN has also announced that from 3rd of July, the MTN network will be live at the Park Station, Sandton and Rosebank stations. The other stations will be covered by existing infrastructure.

MTN also announced that it will be further deploying its network to blanket other parts of the Gautrain network. Eben Albertyn, Chief Technical Officer: MTN South Africa, says the profile of Gautrain commuters are customers who always seek and demand seamless connectivity on the go.

I suppose as with all trains, “better late then never

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