Mobile on the train

Paradoxically, only the confinement of the house, drew me to the keyboard to write a post that was planned long ago, and has twice received the updated studies.

Six months ago, massively forcella question that Wi-Fi on trains is not very good, and then completely turned it off not agreeing with Intertelecom. The wi-fi coverage is now only in Odessa trains, and then not always. Let us try to understand the reason and I will tell you some life hacks how to phone to survive the train ride.

So the administrative sum that mobile operators build their coverage from the road. And motor roads. Rail inconvenient for the projected construction for several reasons.

1. Traffic on the highways more uniform. I mean, the physical number of vehicles and passengers in them are distributed over time more evenly than in trains. That is, 500 passengers in the car passing through the coverage area of the base station within the hour. And in the train all this elites flying for fifteen minutes and not the fact that the next will be in an hour, not 20 minutes. That is, the critical load from the train is several times higher. Bonus – any communication standard requires the registration of the subscriber in the network, and is a separate load on the base station and the controller.

2. In the construction of Railways in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Russian Empire, the USSR (most of the existing lines), the alignment was assumed, as something noisy and dusty. So on the sides of the glands is quite common to find the so-called “forest strip” – the planting of trees with a width of 10 to 20 meters. As in Ukraine, mobile communications has long been built into the higher frequency band, and the trees interfere. Accordingly, the start-up high-speed 5G at frequencies above 3 GHz on the Railways – a big pain, and in Europe are already considering it as an acute problem. The most advanced on the Germans. Promised network in the band 900 MHz the problem of capital can not solve. As subscribers, based on claim 1., getting a lot at a time, and, accordingly, the bandwidth for transmitting Internet traffic is reduced very rapidly.

3. Any design should be comparable with field tests. To use purpose-built laboratories communication is impossible, since along a substantial portion of the Railways is not even priming. And in some cases, railway operators have to use the ATVs. The operators there are manual methods of collecting coverage data, but they do not fit. First, they do not take into account insertion full metal cars interference. Secondly, the railroad is no suitable equipment for such tests. And thirdly, even adapting a car, the study needs some time when the line must be closed to traffic, which is clearly unacceptable.
In Europe it is solved for the reason that mobile operators have a direct contract for the maintenance of railway networks. Part of the infrastructure of mobile networks is only concerned with industrial connection of locomotives and infrastructure (e.g. arrows, crossings, etc.). For this there is standard GSM-R. by the Way, unlike the “domestic” network rail standard is able to work at speeds up to 500 km / h instead of 180.

Ukrzaliznytsya, by the way, throws good price tags on the equipment location on the pillars of the railway, so we will soon see a thick coating on the rail network. But to go it is necessary. And the trip must be prepared.

First, it is necessary to take powerbank, charger AC, long wire (the longer the better) and a tee. In passenger trains, the old model used two types of sockets: 110 and 220V. It is necessary to pay attention, and your charging the same attention should be paid. It is really that it supports both voltages. If there’s 110V and you put 220V – anything terrible should not happen, charging does not support 110 just won’t start.

Tee need for the reason that outlets in the old compartment carriages only four, and one of them in the compartment of the conductor, one is usually found in the waiting room outside of the vestibule (the one that is normally closed) in the window opposite the toilet. Two more in the corridor, landmark – reclining seats.

Reserved seat in the sockets too, but they don’t always work. May work, only those that have a guide. In the new couchette cars have the socket in each compartment, above the doorway. It is therefore better to take a long wire so you can hide the phone near them, or even use it with a constant charge.

Second, before departure inform friends and family that you leave one number for calls. Turn off one of the two SIM cards. In most telephone sets, the radio mixed and injected for myself and for a non-existent unit of the second SIM card. That is, the phone will discharge in the eternal re twice as fast.

Third, powerbank you may appreciate the reason for the failure of the generator in the car. The internal network is not powered from wires above the train, a Dynamo-machine, which straps are attached to the wheel pair. If the generator will be covered, the lack of phone charging will be the lesser of two evils. Not budkt to work the air conditioning/ventilation and lighting part.

This topic does not apply to intercity, which are conducted without the use of external locomotive. An example of such a train on the title or on the photo below.

Fourth, to switch between 4G/3G/2G does not make sense in some cases even harm. 2G in Ukraine works on frequencies 900 and 1800 MHz, where 4G already either planned or exist. Off a higher frequency 3G is not worth it, operators often screws up with the transfer of subscribers. 4G does not support voice calls in the case of a call will drop to 3G or 2G. And if you have 3G disabled, then… the call will not be executed. A call will go, but the phone you get will not (a phone will fail).

Fifth, if the habit to plug in the phone to overcome – pour movie or book. Although the train is a good option digital detox, especially in the afternoon, when the window is constantly something new.

If the charge is small, powerbank empty and charge the phone from the network nothing – while driving, turn on airplane mode. This significantly extends the operating time of the device. Even a little advice on some of the major stations have Wi-Fi, final to cars.

We now turn to the tests. Isn’t necessarily the best of the operator. Unfortunately, it was the worst, and the positive dynamics is very slow.

Fighting on the network coverage of Vodafone and lifecell. The first benefits and coverage. White patches in the red network is still there even in 2G, but they are not as noticeable as with followers. At lifecell, the situation is paradoxical, halfway I even switched the SIM card between phones, as 4G coverage is better than 2G, but we all know about voice calls. The Reds are big problems with speed download in 4G network. The return of adequate 20 Mbps.

Vodafone, Ohul’tsi.

Vodafone, Poltava.

Littell, Poltava.

Kyivstar, Poltava.

Vodafone, on the way to Kremenchug, complicated conditions.

Lifecell, on the way to Kremenchug, complicated conditions.

Kyivstar, Kremenchuk. In the previous testing of the coating was not at all.

With Kyivstar are all very bad. Network bad mass fulfills the registration bonus there is a spot in 2G coverage. In some cases, outside the cities, you can call achievement the availability of 3G coverage. For example, in ohul’tsi – big butt station in the Kharkiv region. Here passenger trains are between 15 minutes to an hour.

Hard to say what has led to such results. Perhaps it is the impact of regionalization. There is a myth that the coating at Kyivstar better in the West than in the East. But this is a myth, as during the construction of the 3G, at Kyivstar was the same jokes with the connectivity in trains. Would like to say that, in my personal opinion, there is trouble in the network design. Even on the highway there are issues with the coating at the border post in Reni, while in the border Galati, Romania, has 3G from Kyivstar 20 km away from the border.

But on a sad note, I will not stop, the mobile communication is developing across the country. And sooner or later we will have a great deal in the way!

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