Spotlight on Germany
As RFS celebrates its 120th birthday, we look at Germany which has been a key region for us since RFS’s founder Louis Hackethal developed the company’s first invention of insulated wire in 1900. Let’s takes a look at how, over a century later, RFS is still meeting the needs of its German customers.
2020 has been a strange year for everyone. How has this impacted RFS in Germany?
In Germany, much like the rest of the world, the telecoms market, although experiencing some delayed timescales due to Covid, is continuing to thrive. We’ve seen just how critical communication technology is and operators are investing accordingly to ensure they have the robust networks they need to handle demand. We’re also seeing big strides forward with the capabilities of mobile technology and we’re heavily involved in providing the infrastructure to support this.
What have been some of the biggest successes?
RFS in Germany has always had a huge share of the in-tunnel and in-building communications market. We developed the first radiating cable in Hannover in 1971 and since then have been trusted by 95% of German Metro and Railway providers to look after mission critical communications in their tunnels, and more recently add consumer connectivity such as 4G. This year we’ve worked on a range of exciting in-tunnel deployments to both install new and enhance existing connectivity solutions.
RFS has a long history of installing in-tunnel equipment in Germany. Why after 120 years in the industry is RFS still leading the way on in-tunnel equipment?
Trust is a huge factor. We have demonstrated time and time again that our products are the best at delivering, cost effective, easy to install, reliable connectivity, particularly in difficult environments. We use our extensive industry knowledge, combined with the best in RF planning equipment to build solutions that last. Beyond ensuring optimal RF performance, a vast amount of our R&D efforts go into ensuring the safety of our products, with a big emphasis on meeting the latest in fire safety standards. Additionally, we are one of the few providers in this area that can truly support the local market with German language customer support and resources to ensure clear communication from the first conversation to the final installation. All of this makes RFS a brand that our German and global customers trust.
With digitalPMRexpo coming up, tell us more about the safety side of RFS’s portfolio.
Fire safety is absolutely vital for mission critical communication deployments to ensure ongoing functionality in the event of an emergency. As such, we take great pride in the fact that our core in-tunnel and in-building product - RADIAFLEX cable - meets the top European safety standards with all radiating cables rated CPR class B2ca s1a d0 a1 – the highest possible certification. It has the ability to maintain performance in extreme heat, plus the d0 subclass shows that RFS’s cable does not drip in the event of a fire to prevent the risk of injury from dripping, burning particles. For us, delivering on communication without compromising on safety is a priority from product development, right through to installation.
Beyond in-tunnel, what is RFS doing in Germany?
As a company we have a strong heritage in Hannover, but also a global operation spanning every continent with over 35 sales, distribution and R&D centers in 20 countries. This allows us to offer the widest variety of solutions, benefitting from global innovation, while being able to solve local market problems. In-tunnel projects have always formed the core of our work in Germany, but we are also seeing success with a number of our 5G ready products including the latest modular BSA antennas, dual-band microwave antenna solutions for robust wireless backhaul and broadcast solutions as Europe undergoes the transition to DVB-T2.