Carriers crank coverage in Sydney train tunnels

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Carriers crank coverage in Sydney train tunnels

Phase two of network project goes live.

Inner-Sydney rail commuters now have mobile voice and data access on the City Circle line after the second phase of a major network rollout project went live today.

The project is a joint initiative between NSW rail authorities and the major mobile carriers.

"The NSW Government has been working with lead carrier Optus, along with Telstra and Vodafone, to install more than 10 kilometres of cabling to provide reception for customers using mobile phones, tablets and laptops," NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian said.

"The service is already undergoing live testing, and will be switched on as early as today."

The first phase of the rollout, completed in July last year, saw carriers co-locate base station equipment on an Optus active distributed antenna system installed in city rail tunnels.

That phase covered only the North Shore line tunnel, with further phases of work required to bring coverage to the City Circle and Eastern Suburbs tunnels.

With the second phase covering the City Circle tunnels now live, work will commence on the final phase for the Eastern Suburbs line.

Berejiklian said works were "underway to install 18 kilometres of cable between Erskineville and Bondi Junction". 

Telstra indicated in a statement that Eastern Suburbs line works were expected to be completed in "early 2014".

Telstra said it offered "both 3G and 4G network coverage" in the City Circle tunnels. It indicated that it had also made Martin Place a 4G coverage zone, though it sits outside the City Circle.

City Circle line stations are Central, Town Hall, Wynyard, Circular Quay, St James and Museum.

A Vodafone Australia spokesperson told iTnews that its network is "now live on all six segments of the Sydney CBD City Circle rail tunnels for 3G technologies (U2100 & U850)."

Comment on network capabilities was being sought from Optus at the time of publication.

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