Telefónica Deutschland to develop 5G on railway routes

The company is partnering with equipment supplier Ericsson, cell tower operator Vantage Towers and Deutsche Bahn for the project.

Telefónica, which operates commercially as O2 in Germany, says the planned 5G infrastructure will provide coverage along the tracks to give passengers access to gigabit speeds.

The project is called Gigabit Innovation Track (GINT) and is supported by the German Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) which will provide €6.4 million in funding.

Part of the project will involve creating a test area along a roughly ten-kilometre section of track in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. Telefónica says it will test new innovative technologies, including new tower designs that can be securely screwed into the ground without the need for costly, less sustainable concrete foundations.

The project will use Telefónica’s 3.6 GHz spectrum frequencies. Telefónica says due to its characteristics, one tower operating in this band would cover just one kilometre of rail line. This means that around 20,000 new towers are needed along tracks throughout Germany.

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