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Berlin U-bahn is finally getting fast internet

Berlin U-bahn is finally getting fast internet

Berlin U-bahn is finally getting fast internet

If you want to surf the internet while riding the U-Bahn in Berlin, you need to be blessed with quite a bit of patience. Now, however, that might be about to change, as the Berlin transport association, BVG, has concluded a contract with telecommunications company Telefonica to bring fast internet to the entire subway network. 

Berlin underground gets an internet update

Up until now, fast internet speeds on the Berlin U-Bahn have only been available to Telefonica customers. Soon, however, this should expand to include the customers of other mobile phone networks as well. “In the near future, our competitors’ customers will have a stable supply of LTE in the Berlin underground,” said Telefonica’s chief technology officer, Cayetano Carbajo Martin. 

The agreed expansion will allow even Vodafone and Telekom customers access to LTE-standard internet on platforms and in tunnels. Up until now, only a slower GSM standard has been available to them. 

Fast internet on some lines from November

“By signing this agreement, we are one step closer to our goal of providing comprehensive access to fast internet in the Berlin U-Bahn,” said Berlin’s Economics Senator, Ramona Pop (Greens). The reliable availability of large bandwidths is essential for making Berlin a so-called “digital capital”, said Pop, who is also chairperson of BVG’s supervisory board. 

The expansion of the mobile network in the U-Bahn should begin immediately. Telefonica’s existing system will be expanded over the next two years to incorporate Telekom and Vodafone’s existing transceivers. The expansion will also make way for the introduction of the new 5G mobile standard.  

The first transceiver stations should be completed by November 2019, after which the U2 and parts of the U8 and U5 lines, as well as Alexanderplatz station, will be supplied with fast internet. The expansion will continue across the entire BVG network over the coming years. 

Abi

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Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

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