Mobile coverage in Sydney train tunnels 15 years in the making: Optus

Mobile phone coverage in Sydney's train tunnels was 15 years in the making, according to Optus

Optus has revealed that the network infrastructure upgrade to bring mobile phone coverage into Sydney's train tunnels was a project that was 15 years in the making.

"It's been quite a challenging road," says Optus' vice president of mobile engineering, Andrew Smith.
"It's been quite a challenging road," says Optus' vice president of mobile engineering, Andrew Smith.

Speaking at the launch announcement of the company's new multi-band 4G rollout in Canberra, Optus' vice president of mobile engineering, Andrew Smith, said it took almost 15 years to gain the required approvals to implement the technology in Sydney's much maligned railway network.

One of the real issues was always safety because we are building systems inside tunnels.

"It's taken that long to get the approvals, we got a lot of support from the incoming state Government to push it through," Smith explained.

"One of the real issues was always safety because we are building systems inside tunnels, and also the age of those tunnels. That was a big part of the barrier of being able to satisfy the railways that we can implement a safe solution in association to the agreements," he explained.

"We've had collaboration from the carriers to get a solution in there so it's not a competitive issue, but it's been quite a challenging road. We were in a position where the support level went up and that started to get things rolling. You need lots of maintenance access and things like that which you can't just expect to get."

As part of the initial rollout which began in July last year, the North Shore and Western Lines of the CityRail network were the first to receive mobile coverage through tunnels between Central and Chatswood stations. The service was then extended to all train tunnels on the City Circle line in April this year.

"The tester was that North Shore segment, that was a big thing for us to work with the railway and they were pleased how we worked with them. We moved very, very quickly in the City Circle and now we are working on the Eastern Suburbs line."

"There will be other segments beyond that but that's sort of our three stage plan."

Despite confirming works are currently taking place to bring the same coverage to tunnels on the Eastern Suburbs Line, Optus has not committed to an estimated completion date. The latest rollout requires 18 kilometres of cable between Erskineville and Bondi Junction stations.

The overall mobile network rollout is a three way partnership between Optus, the NSW Government and RailCorp, a an agency of the Government responsible for the operation and maintenance of Sydney's CityRail train network.

From Monday 1 July, RailCorp will be broken up and split into two new specialist organisations. Sydney Trains will serve regular, suburban line services while NSW Trains will be responsible for all intercity, regional and country services.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags cityrailmobile networksSydney Trainsmobile phonesnswsmartphonesoptus

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Ross Catanzariti

Ross Catanzariti

PC World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?