The long-anticipated wiring of the Rome Metro’s passenger trains and stations for wireless coverage is becoming a reality.

CommScope, a global leader in infrastructure solutions for communications networks, has been chosen by Italian operators Telecom Italia, Vodafone, WIND and H3G, to provide and install a multi-operator, multi-band cellular coverage solution throughout the Rome Metro that will extend reliable wireless signals to passengers and staff throughout the system’s stations and passenger trains.

The CommScope solution, featuring its ION-M optical distributed antenna system and Heliax transmission lines, will enable Rome’s citizens, visitors and tourists to enjoy reliable voice and data wireless services while riding on the Metro, including in tunnels and in stations. The three-phase project is expected to be completed in late 2012.

"CommScope has an extensive history of providing wireless coverage and capacity solutions for metropolitan railways worldwide, including several in Italy," said Samuel Buttarelli, sales director, wireless innovations, CommScope. "We are pleased to support the Italian mobile operators with the technology and expertise to enable them to deploy much-needed wireless coverage for their customers on the Rome Metro."

Wireless operators are faced with many challenges in providing service along railways, including tunnels and stations that block or restrict signals, high-speed trains that complicate cellular hand-offs, and smartphone users who expect constant access to data services while onboard. Such demands typically require dedicated coverage and capacity solutions to ensure access for commuters and sufficient network capacity for operators.

The project will enable 2G and 3G voice and data services for customers of Telecom Italia, Vodafone, WIND and H3G using the GSM900, GSM1800 and UMTS frequencies utilised by the operators. "Multi-operator, multi-frequency band, and multi-technology standard are common scenarios when working on train projects such as these," Buttarelli said. "Despite the complexities of providing wireless coverage in moving trains, narrow tunnels and enclosed stations, CommScope expects to quickly implement a successful solution with minimal impact on the existing infrastructure — resulting in greater passenger satisfaction and more loyalty to our operator customers."

CommScope previously completed a similar project that brought reliable wireless coverage to the metro system in Turin, and furnished equipment for wireless coverage in the Milan metro.

ION is an easy-to-scale, fiber-based coverage and capacity solution for indoor and outdoor applications, available in multiple power levels with a unique multi-band, multi-operator platform. CommScope’s off-air repeaters include a full line of pico and micro class RF enhancers and macro class digital nodes.

CommScope’s repeaters provide RF signals for wide area coverage through antennas and are self-diagnosing, self-adaptive and available in multiple power classes. CommScope is a world leader in providing coverage and capacity system solutions, including ION™ distributed antennas systems, Node series repeaters, Heliax coaxial cable, Radiax leaky cables, CellMax indoor antennas and other passive components.

CommScope, through its Andrew Solutions portfolio, has nearly 30 years of experience in providing, installing and managing complex radio signal distribution systems for railway tracks, large-scale buildings, radio operators and telephone operators around the world. Major projects have included the ICE high speed train line in Germany, metro rails in Beijing, Hong Kong, Moscow, and Montreal, major venues such as the Dallas Cowboys Stadium and World Cup 2010 stadiums, and numerous international airports.