Commercial cellular needs of Shanghai Metro swiftly serviced ahead of World Expo
Radio Frequency Systems, the wireless infrastructure specialist, has efficiently planned and deployed commercial wireless in-tunnel RF coverage systems for the Shanghai Metro in a record timeframe to serve World Expo 2010.
RFS is the globally acknowledged expert in tunnel RF coverage systems. In this field, the company has over 35 years' worldwide experience and know-how spanning six continents and many hundreds of installations of metros, railway and road tunnels coverage systems.
The Shanghai Metro has become one of the newest and fastest-growing rapid transit systems in the world, with eight metro lines, more than 160 stations and in excess of 220 km of tracks already in operation.
The metro line, the longest of its type in China and which carries in excess of three million passengers on a typical day - plus a record 4.3 million passengers on December 31 last year - is expanding rapidly, placing logistical and planning pressures on all the companies involved in its expansion.
RFS is no exception, with its installation teams under intense time pressure to complete their wireless communications infrastructure systems on schedule, and, of course, within budget.
And the wireless systems specialist has been working closely with other contractors on the expanding numbers of lines to ensure an efficient and rapid rollout of services as they are handed over to the metro authority for commissioning and opening to the public.
RFS' latest contribution to the logistical success that is the Shanghai Metro has been its involvement with the wireless communications in-tunnel commercial coverage systems for Line 7 and Phase II of Line 8, Line 2 West and East extensions, Phase II of Line 9, Phase I of Line 10, Phase I of Line 11 and the Line 13 Expo section.
All the various line projects were unusual in being commissioned by March, 2010 to support the public transportation of World Expo. 2010 - which will start on May 1, 2010 - in Shanghai.
The wireless coverage of Line 7, for example - which connects the Baoshan District of Shanghai with the downtown core and Pudong District - is being rolled out rapidly, in order that the line opens by the end of 2009.
Line 8, meanwhile, has been a complex installation involving the use of RADIAFLEX® radiating cables, CELLFLEX® coaxial cables and a variety of high technology RF wireless systems, also installed in a very tight timeframe, says Golden Nie, RTD Product Director with RFS Shanghai.
And all the other various Line projects on the Shanghai Metro wireless installation have also been equally demanding, requiring a complex mix of wireless signal reception planning to help ensure that cellular users obtain the best quality calls and fastest mobile data speeds at all points on the subway network.
Signal propagation issues solved
Underground wireless (cellular) signal propagation - especially in metro tunnels and stations - is quite different to that seen above ground, where reception can be excellent some way away from the base station.
The problem with underground wireless signals, says Nie, is that the density of the infrastructure, as well as the ground, means that a handset user can find their reception tailing off in certain parts of the subway system. As a result, the signal transmission system needs to be very carefully planned.
The in-tunnel coverage solution from RFS - based around RADIAFLEX® radiating cable technology - solves these reception problems.
This is achieved by hanging the cable along the entire length of each tunnel so that wireless users are assured the best possible reception within the tunnels - with call qualities as good as if they were using their handset above ground.
According to Nie, with Line 7, the technical challenge has been in designing and deploying around 180 kilometres of radiating cables and associated cabling, giving passengers alike access to the best possible wireless signals at all points in their underground travels.
Line 8 Phase II, in particular, was a very technically complex installation, with more than 35 kilometres of radiating cables installed on a very tight schedule to meet the needs of RFS' engineering colleagues working on other aspects of the metro infrastructure.
Complex solutions for complex problems
Although passengers and staff on the Shanghai Metro are now able to easily use their mobile phones and cellular-equipped mobile devices at just about all points in the stations and tunnels, the wireless infrastructure that allows them to use the service is technically complex.
This is particularly true at those stations where the metro lines intersect and diverge, since care has had to be taken to minimise any interference between the multiple radiating cables radiating a wireless signal at such intercepts.
If this careful planning process sounds difficult, it's because it really is, said Nie, adding that the wireless service rollout has been made all the more complex by the fact that the Shanghai Metro - in contrast to most other metros in the world - uses an overhead wire-based power system that operates at 1,500 volts.
The use of such a high-voltage overhead power system, he explained, means there have been higher levels of interference for the wireless network architects to deal with.
"Thankfully, RFS has a proven and quality pedigree in providing underground and indoor wireless coverage technology, as witnessed by our ClearFill®Line range of wireless systems which we have shown at wireless events around the globe in recent months," he said.
"With the Shanghai Metro projects, we're proud to say our engineers have built one of world's most advanced RF broadband passive distributive antenna systems. And as Shanghai prepares for World Expo 2010, we're proud to say that the RF wireless communication systems we provided are ready to handle the subway traffic that this key world event will bring to Shanghai," he added.
Trademarks: RFS® is a registered trademark of Radio Frequency Systems. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
Radio Frequency Systems (RFS) is a global designer and manufacturer of cable, antenna and tower systems, plus active and passive RF conditioning modules, providing total-package solutions for wireless infrastructure.
RFS serves OEMs, distributors, system integrators, operators and installers in the broadcast, wireless communications, land-mobile and microwave market sectors. As an ISO compliant organization with manufacturing and customer service facilities that span the globe, RFS offers cutting-edge engineering capabilities, superior field support and innovative product design. RFS is a leader in wireless infrastructure.
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