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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonesmobile phonesoptusnswcityrailmobile networksSydney Trains

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

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?