Cellular: Extra cell phone frequency on railway lines: Criticism of the authorities

After the Federal Network Agency's decision not to open an additional mobile radio frequency on railway lines to travelers until the end of 2024, criticism was raised.

Cellular: Extra cell phone frequency on railway lines: Criticism of the authorities

After the Federal Network Agency's decision not to open an additional mobile radio frequency on railway lines to travelers until the end of 2024, criticism was raised.

Such a long period of time seems "unambitious and disproportionately long," said Deutsche Telekom. More speed is urgently needed, the changeover should be completed by mid-2023. Deutsche Bahn is also in favor of a “short-term postponement of a few months”.

The 900 megahertz frequency band has so far been blocked for radio stations that are in the immediate vicinity of the tracks. This is to avoid interference with train radio. However, with new technology on board the trains, such disruptions are impossible. By December 11, all locomotives should therefore have new, "hardened" devices. But the conversion is progressing slowly, according to the Federal Network Agency, more than 1,000 of the 14,000 registered traction units in Germany have not yet been converted. This is mainly about freight trains from competitors of Deutsche Bahn.

In order to prevent many trains from being suddenly no longer allowed to run, the regulatory authority declared a decision by DB Netze to be invalid and postponed the deadline to December 14, 2024. Unease is now spreading because of this decision. According to the telecommunications companies, the extra frequency is important. According to their own statements, the operators could use it to improve their mobile phone networks quite quickly.

The network agency considers the new two-year period to be necessary. According to their estimate, more than 800 locomotives will not have been converted in July 2023 and more than 400 in early 2024. Several media had previously reported on the network agency's decision.

Decision of the Federal Network Agency

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