The problem: the glass installed in railways today are specially built for trains. They have a special coating that is supposed to protect against the heat and sun from outside. The problem: not only the heat and the solar rays remain outside, but also the radio rays and, therefore, the mobile phone networks.
Add to that the fact that the rail lines that are not as heavily frequented only have a poor cellular network, then you get annoyed on the train because your calls are constantly cut off. Because even built-in repeaters can’t always help, especially since they are not installed on all wagons and not all types of wagons.
Disk tests should be completed this year
Deutsche Bahn has been experimenting with another solution for years. According to the news agency dpa, the metallic window is treated with laser. This makes the window permeable again, but only in the frequency range that is relevant for cellular networks. Because frequencies enter through the window, this technology is independent of specific mobile radio or repeater standards in operation. Until now, railway repeaters sometimes had to be replaced or upgraded when there was a new wireless standard. In view of the upcoming 5G network, the technology would arrive at the right time.
According to the dpa, the tests with the windows are now being carried out in real conditions. A graduation is expected this year. However, it is unknown when they will be installed on the trains and if it is also conceivable that windows that have already been installed will be post-treated.
No influence on WiFi on the train
By the way, the WLAN network is independent of this development. This is generated from the three existing cellular networks that use on-board technology. The three cell phone networks are picked up by special antennas and converted into a WLAN network on the train. If this WLAN network offers too low data rates, it is because cellular networks offer too low data rates and too many users want to use it on the train.