As from today, 'no mobile coverage' messages are a thing of the past in the HSL Tunnel between Breda and Rotterdam. KPN, T-Mobile and Vodafone have been working hard in recent months on mobile coverage in the Oude Maas Tunnel. It has resulted in the very first high-speed line (HSL) tunnel with a mobile network. ProRail and Infraspeed helped install mobile installations in the tunnel during the major interruption of services last November.
A complex job
Mobile installations in HSL tunnels require special mounting technology, because trains travel at high speeds. The systems must be able to withstand the pressure that arises at speeds of up to 300 km/h. For this reason, wind tunnel tests with the antennas were carried out and cabinets with extra protection were developed to house technical equipment. Partly due to the complexity of the job, preparations for this project have been underway since 2017.
First HSL tunnel with coverage
Mobile coverage is frequently lost on the HSL due to the many tunnels on the line.. This is very inconvenient, because a train is the very place that travellers like to do work or watch a film. That is why mobile operators are gradually implementing mobile coverage in the various HSL tunnels.
The aim is to provide all five HSL tunnels with a mobile network by mid-2023, including the seven-kilometre Groene Hart Tunnel. The experience acquired during the work on the Oude Maas Tunnel will be used to accelerate installation in the other HSL tunnels. In the coming weeks, the network will be monitored intensively and further optimised.