Crémazie station is now connected.
A partnership forged by technology
A mobile network is now up and running in part of the Montréal métro, featuring 3G, 4G and 4G LTE state-of-the-art mobile technologies. You can now browse the Web, watch videos, listen to live music, make and receive phone calls and much more, while travelling inside métro cars, tunnels and stations.
Started in 2014, the project is right on schedule, and by 2020, all of the métro’s 71 km and 68 stations should be covered, thanks to a joint 50 million dollar investment, shared equally by telecommunication providers Bell, Rogers, TELUS and Vidéotron.
Stay in touch!
More than ever, you can use the STM tools at your disposal to facilitate your public transit use. Reviewing timetables, choosing an itinerary or staying on top of service disruptions has never been this easy!
The STM works with the service providers’ professional teams to ensure their safety on the work sites and to transport equipment in the tunnels. The installation work is performed in a highly secure environment and all plans comply with the métro’s design standards and criteria, in terms of architecture and engineering.
There is an area of limited coverage in a few downtown stations. The technology in use differs with each service provider and there is no coverage in the tunnels. The new network will make use of 4G LTE, 4G and 3 G technologies inside all stations and tunnels.
Deploying a wireless communications network in the métro is a fairly complex operation, in terms of both the infrastructure’s design and installation. A number of different tasks must be performed, such as amalgamating fiber optics, installing antennas in tunnels and stations, and the construction of buildings to house the service providers’ equipment.
Making the tunnel installation a little easier is a custom-designed rolling deck that allows teams to move along the tracks. All work inside the tunnel is performed at night, within a limited two-hour window, to avoid disrupting service to passengers.
Together, the STM and the service providers are completely redesigning certain areas inside the métro. For example, they must open up then rebuild walls to run cables, install conduits on walls or under platforms, build a new floor to house equipment rooms, install new ventilation and electrical systems, and more.
Tests will then be conducted to measure the network’s speed, coverage, reliability, capacity and see how it reacts under heavy usage.
In the second half of 2017, all deployment efforts will focus on the stations north of Mont-Royal, on the Orange line, and on completing work on the Blue line to Jean-Talon station. Afterwards, in 2018, work will consist of gradually connecting the remaining stations on the Orange line north of Jean-Talon. By 2020, the mobile network should cover the entire underground métro system.
Deploying a wireless communications network inside the métro requires thorough planning, because of the project’s complex nature in terms of infrastructure design and installation. Also, that installation must take place concurrently with other maintenance and repair operations. Lastly, a project of this scope means a considerable investment. For all these reasons, the project will span a five- to seven-year period.
The overall costs are estimated at $50 M and will be shared equally by TELUS, Bell, Rogers and Vidéotron.
The purpose for deploying a mobile network in the métro is not to make money, but rather to offer transit users the opportunity to stay connected, so they can browse the web, watch videos, listen to music, or make and receive calls, while they travel underground. It also ensures they are able to stay in touch with loved ones when unexpected events occur.
The network will be designed to provide service to all TELUS, Bell, Rogers and Vidéotron subscribers who use a mobile device running on HSPA, HSPA+ and LTE technologies. It’s the device itself that will determine browsing speeds, based on its configuration. For example, an iPhone 5S will use the 4G LTE network, while a Samsung GALAXY Ace II X will use the 4G network.
There is no target schedule for WI-FI service. Deploying a mobile network was our priority, to ensure the best possible service for Montréal métro users. Indeed, a mobile network not only provides access to Internet, but also to voice and data services.
All the work is done mainly in the evening and at night to minimize any impact on transit users.