Hong Kong Undreground Railway Extension Gets Mobile Phone Coverage
Published on: 18th March 2009
A major extension to Hong Kong's mass transit railway will feature another wireless communications network from wireless confined-coverage system solutions provider, Radio Frequency Engineering (RFE). Enlisted by mobile network operator, SmarTone-Vodafone, RFE will design, supply, install and commission a turnkey commercial wireless communications solution for the MTR's new LOHAS Park Station and tunnel extension.
Part of the phase-two extension to Hong Kong MTR's Tseung Kwan O Line, the
new Lohas Park RF system will provide wireless coverage to the station's
concourse, platforms and tunnels.
Due for completion in mid-2009, the new broadband RF system has been designed to support both GSM and 3G networks.
According to Ivan Leung, General Manager, Core Network and Operations, SmarTone-Vodafone, a wireless indoor network with optimal reliability was essential. "SmarTone-Vodafone is confident that RFE will provide an easily upgradeable network with the ability to handle various arduous in-tunnel conditions."
The new LOHAS Park Station and in-tunnel network is intended to support three types of cellular services: GSM services at 900MHz, PCS services at 1800MHz, and UMTS services at 2100MHz. The system has also been designed for easy upgrade to support future CDMA 2000 services at 800MHz. The new RF system will be upgradeable and easily modified to incorporate additional services such as WiMAX and broadcast mobile TV.
RFE has over a decade of experience in providing wireless solutions to Hong Kong's MTR, including both the cellular communications and private mobile radio (PMR) systems in phase-one of the MTR's Tseung Kwan O Line. PMR networks provide secure communications for police, fire brigade, and other essential services. RFE is also engaged to provide a PMR system for the new LOHAS Park Station and tunnel.
According to RFE Engineering Director, Paul Chan, the new LOHAS Park Station and in-tunnel network has been designed to ensure the seamless transition of wireless communications services from existing wireless networks to the new LOHAS Park Station communications network. "This can be rather challenging, especially considering the trains are travelling at 80km/h," he said. "The plan here is to integrate the new network management system (NMS) with the existing one upstream. Luckily, RFE has extensive experience delivering such high-performance communications solutions under demanding conditions."
To be installed predominantly at night, the project presents RFE with a multitude of challenges--tight deployment timeline, the multi-band nature of the in-tunnel network, and unique installation requirements. "Installing a wireless network in a semi-operational subway system can be challenging," said Chan. "As always, we will make sure we stay organised and work in a well-planned efficient manner to get the job done."
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