WiFi, data, and voice service has just been added to additional stations in Prague’s metro.
“You can now call or connect to the Internet in test operation between the Muzeum and Nádraží Holešovice stations,” Prague Mayor Zdeněk Hřib (Pirates) said on Facebook.
Sixteen out of 61 stations in the metro network are now covered with a 4G LTE signal. Counting previously installed service, coverage is now available from Roztyly to Nádraží Holešovice on the Metro C line.
Before the end of March 2020, coverage should be available between Českomoravská and Smíchovské nádraží on the Metro B line and between the Muzeum and Dejvice on Metro A.
“By 2020 we should be able to cover the whole center and by 2022 complete all the stations. And if we manage to speed up the work as we plan, we can cover the entire metro with a signal already in 2021. Keep your fingers crossed,” Hřib added.
“I am happy about it. I use the metro most often when I go to or from work, and I like to save time by reading messages, planning a calendar or handling emails,” Hřib said, adding his thanks to the Prague Public Transit Company (DPP) and Deputy Mayor Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě), responsible for transportation.
Hřib also explained why it was taking so long to put the phone and internet signal in the metro. “The point is that there are only a few hours to work each day during the technical break. So if we don’t want to limit the standard traffic, and we don’t, we have to do it gradually,” he said. Work is done for a few hours at nights, when the metro isn’t running.
The cables are operated by all three mobile service providers in the Czech Republic, and should last for 20 years. The system can be eventually upgraded to 5G. The average price for installing the service in each station is 10 million CZK. It varies because the distance between stations is not uniform, and there are other differences in the tunnels that sometimes make installation of cables more difficult.
Installation was long delayed because the city and the mobile operators could not reach an agreement on terms. A contract was finally signed in April 2018 by the previous City Hall administration, with the first stations put into operation just before the October 2018 municipal elections.
The Prague metro began operation in 1974 and now has three lines. It currently has a transit network 65.2 kilometers long. A fourth metro line is planned.