The Monaco operator is improving its network for mobiles in tunnels, underground pedestrian channels, buildings, and car parks.
People always want and need better mobile phone coverage, and improved services are being offered by Monaco Telecom. With a 10% yearly increase of subscribers (there are 36,000 Monaco Telecom mobile customers), traffic has actually been increasing by 50% each year. It is thus always urgent for providers to offer better connectivity. The Principality is considered to be the most complex territory after Hong Kong, and this is due to its location between the sea and the mountains, endless activity in its tunnels and other underground channels, and heightened needs during events such as the Grand Prix, not to mention its boundaries with France where there is constant shifting between French and Monegasque providers.
Due to all these factors, one must face the challenge! “We have done a full redesign of the mobile network,” explains Martin Peronnet, CEO of Monaco Telecom. “The plan began in June, and after the deployment phase, we have now arrived at the fine tuning stage. Already the results have been interesting, and now there is only a bit of fine tuning left to do.” From now until the end of the year, the Monegasque operator’s technicians have to work on 11 antennas, meaning some small disruptions are possible. “It has to work all of the time and everywhere,” explains Patrick Bouffel, Director of “Network and Systems” for the operator. “The goal is to allow Monaco Telecom’s customers to be able to phone from wherever they are.”
Fewer outages, more data
This year a large portion of the 10 million euros in investment have been devoted to network improvement. The results provided by Monaco Telecom have been encouraging: 3G coverage inside buildings has gone from 55 to 79%, outages have decreased by one third, the communication quality of calls has gone to high definition, and 70% of tunnels are fully covered by 3G.
In addition, some neighbourhoods have seen enhanced coverage, such as at Fontvieille, Bougainvilliers, la Villa Paloma, the Heliport, Saint-Roman and Saint Charles. At the same time, coverage has improved in shopping areas and underground pedestrian pathways, such as at the Fontvieille shopping centre, the access area of the Oceanographic Museum, the railway station, etc. However, depending on an area’s configuration, this is sometimes impossible, such as in for example the areas of Les Tamaris, Helios, and Jardins d’Apolline. In these cases, the HEQ (High Environmental Quality) standards have imposed a treatment to interrupt waves. The only alternative then is to fit indoor relays.
This month, works are being undertaken and they bring with them some disruptions or outages on Monaco Telecom’s mobile networks. The details of these interventions are available on the operator’s website, under the heading “Information about the network near you!” In addition, certain tunnels require specific civil engineering works, which will be staggered over the end of the year and early 2017.
Thus, Martin Peronnet and Patrick Bouffel are continuing their efforts, and state that they “want to offer 4G in all the tunnels by early 2017 and cover all car parks in 2018.” So, if you are interested in better mobile services with Monaco Telecom, you can look forward to further improvements in the very near future.