Stay connected to your smartphone at all times, even in underground tunnels and underground stations: it is finally possible on the entire Paris network n. In any case, this was announced jointly on Monday by RATP, Ile-de-France Mobilités and the four mobile operators (Orange, SFR, Bouygues and Free).
"Travelers can now access very high mobile broadband in stations, but also in tunnels and on trains," announce RATP and its partners. A continuity of service which makes it possible in particular to follow passenger information in real time, via apps (RATP, ViaNavigo, etc.) or the lines' Twitter accounts. But also to have fun or get information on your smartphone, without the risk of cuts.
Travelers "will be able to keep in touch with their loved ones and continue to make calls, send SMS, photos and access the Internet on the move on their operator's mobile network," it says.
Several months late
Full 4G metro coverage had been announced for 2017 and then 2019. It was therefore finally mid-2020 that it was effective. In particular, all the operators had to agree and do a lot of work on the network.
300 km of cables, 3000 antennas and 280 technical rooms to be installed in often underground and sometimes century-old infrastructures: this is the challenge that the RATP and the four telephone operators had to take up. They ended up pooling equipment to create 321 telecom sites on the network in order to cover 304 underground stations (access, platforms and tunnels).
"These are also three accommodation rooms that have been created, to house operator equipment outside certain stations, thus reducing space and air conditioning constraints," said one.
Lines 3, 7 or 9 remained poorly covered
The fact remains that this theoretical coverage at 10% does not mean that the quality of service will be immediately there: areas can remain with a delicate connection. RATP and the telephone operators indicate that they will "continue improvement work in the coming years to always provide the best quality of service to travelers".
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Currently, the quality of connection is measured by ARCEP (telecoms regulatory authority) each year. The data can be viewed on the monreseaumobile.fr website. According to the latest measurements in mid-2019, several metro lines, including sections of lines 3, 7 or 9, remained poorly covered. We will soon know if the situation is really better in 2020.