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Melbourne rail commuters can now call, text, email and browse the Internet on their mobiles, tablets and laptops while travelling through the City Loop underground tunnels, thanks to a partnership between the Victorian Government, Public Transport Victoria, VicTrack and our major carriers, Telstra, Optus and Vodafone.

David Epstein, Vice President Corporate and Regulatory Affairs at Optus, has said that commuters will be able to utilise Optus’ 3G voice and data coverage to all commuters using the Flagstaff, Melbourne Central and Parliament underground station platforms and throughout the City Loop tunnels as well.

“Whether you’re making a call, checking work emails or streaming your favourite show, commuters now have mobile coverage throughout the City Loop”

Mr Epstein continued to say that:

“As the lead carrier for this complex project, Optus is pleased to provide mobile coverage for Loop commuters as we know how important it is for customers to stay connected, wherever they are. Optus is continually investing and expanding our network in order to provide customers with a great experience, reliable coverage and super-fast download speeds.”

The project is being delivered in two phases with the first phase, the start of 3G mobile phone coverage, now complete and the second phase, 4G services, expected in late 2016. Final testing has now been completed and the 3G service is being switched on today.

Telstra is on-board as well, announcing that their 3G and 4G mobile coverage in the Melbourne city loop has been activated today as well.

Public Transport Victoria (PTV) is saying that the 3G mobile service in Melbourne exceeds the quality of coverage found in many other capital cities, which sometimes have limited coverage in their rail tunnels.

Explaining how the mobile coverage will work in the loop service, PTV has said that the mobile coverage service works off installed carrier equipment using common antennae infrastructure (with the Digital Train Radio System), including 10.5 kilometres of ‘leaky feeder’ cabling, 22 in-tunnel directional antennas and 12 repeater sites. This ensures that there is full 3G mobile coverage across all 12 kilometres of tunnels and Flagstaff, Melbourne Central and Parliament Stations.

Of course, this development comes off a similar project by lead provider Optus (and including Vodafone and Telstra) in rolling out mobile coverage to Sydney’s City Circle and Eastern Suburbs line tunnels which went live in 2013.

Optus has said that to celebrate the coverage switch on, AM peak rail commuters at Melbourne Central station today can pick up a myki phone sleeve from Optus during the morning peak (while stocks last). Telstra was giving away free coffee to commuters too, jumping on board with the promotion for the new coverage.

Source: Public Transport Victoria (PTV)OptusTelstra.
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Fusion
4 years ago

While this is nice and all for the city what about Vline services that go to Ballarat, I mean we have no signal at all when we are between Ballarat and Ballan and then between Ballan and Melton and then Melton to Sunshine even though we pass through so many mobile towers. That line needs to be fixed in more then one way.

vijay alapati
vijay alapati
4 years ago

cool, till today i can people looking at each other since they phone have no signals while in loop. from now people will just keep peeping their phones from home to work with no break 🙂

Benjamin Dobell
Benjamin Dobell
Reply to  vijay alapati
4 years ago

Haha, you make it sound bad. But being stuck in the dark tunnel you can’t even look out the window without indadvertedly starring at someone’s reflection.

Fusion
Reply to  vijay alapati
4 years ago

You do have to love the amount of people on trains that look like that are playing heads down thumbs up due to always being on a mobile device.

Phillip Molly Malone
4 years ago

Magic. Now we can plan our transport trip on Google Maps transit as we go through the city loop! Wow! …

..
Oh, Hang on


Thats right. We don’t have our information on Google Maps yet!

Oh, well!
#BabySteps

James Finnigan
4 years ago

I’m with Vodafone and I had LTE signal throughout the Loop yesterday. It was fantastic!

Pumpino
Pumpino
4 years ago

So the 4G a number of us received this week was just testing, and it won’t be turned on for 12 months?! Or is this just Optus? The 4G I picked up on Wednesday was with Telstra. It seems strange that they would activate 3G but not 4G.