- Hans Weber
- November 29, 2023
Laser Technology Improves Mobile Signal Quality on Trains in Germany and the Czech Republic
Rail operators in both Germany and the Czech Republic have turned to laser technology to enhance mobile signal quality for train passengers, making regional travel more convenient and connected.
In a pilot project, Germany’s national rail operator, Deutsche Bahn (DB), is using laser technology to boost mobile signals on regional trains in Bavaria, Berlin, and Brandenburg. The laser technology aims to provide passengers with up to a hundred times better mobile signal reception.
Modern train carriages pose challenges to mobile signal propagation due to their metallic structures and coated windows designed for thermal insulation. These coated windows, while preserving thermal comfort, hinder mobile signal quality by blocking electromagnetic waves.
To address this issue, DB is using lasers to disrupt the metallic layer on the windows of selected regional carriages, replacing the uniform coated film with a mesh structure that retains thermal properties. Some new trains, such as the high-speed ICE 3neo and the low-floor ICE L trains set to debut in Germany in 2024, come equipped with these modified windows.
For older carriages, the laser technology allows passengers to maintain mobile connectivity without the need for window replacements, resulting in cost savings and environmental benefits.
Interestingly, the Czech Railways had already implemented a similar laser technology solution to ensure strong mobile signal strength inside train carriages. In 2021, the InterJet trains operating between Prague and Western Czechia became the first in Central Europe to feature special windows designed to enhance mobile signal quality.
This innovative use of laser technology in both Germany and the Czech Republic reflects the ongoing efforts to improve the connectivity and convenience of rail travel for passengers in an increasingly digital world. The adoption of such technologies not only enhances the passenger experience but also contributes to more sustainable and environmentally friendly transportation solutions.
Article by Prague Forum