Germany tests high-speed internet on new 5G track

Germany tests high-speed internet on new 5G track
© Deutsche Bahn AG / Max Lautenschläger

The "Gigabit Innovation Track" project, a collaborative effort funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport, integrates cutting-edge 5G technology to enhance passenger experience and support the digital transformation of rail operations.

In a groundbreaking initiative aimed at revolutionizing rail travel connectivity, a consortium led by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) has successfully inaugurated a test track for high-speed internet on trains in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany. Called the “Gigabit Innovation Track” (GINT), the €6.4 million project brings together Deutsche Bahn (DB), Ericsson, O2 Telefónica, and Vantage Towers to pioneer the deployment of 5G technology along railways.

The GINT project aims to dramatically improve the travel experience by enabling passengers to enjoy high data speeds for surfing and making calls while traveling, making environmentally friendly rail travel even more attractive. By equipping a ten-kilometer stretch of track with state-of-the-art mobile communications technology, the project aims to test gigabit data rates and the integration of the Future Rail Mobile Communication System (FRMCS), paving the way for digital advances in rail operations.

One of the key innovations of the project is the development and rapid deployment of new radio masts designed to enable mobile communications at gigabit speeds. These masts represent a significant technological leap forward. Their design not only reduces construction time but also minimizes environmental impact by reducing CO2 emissions associated with cement production. With the "advanced TrainLab" set to begin trials in spring 2024, the GINT project is on track to deliver valuable insights by the end of 2024 that could shape the future of mobile communications deployment along railways.

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