Now you can use your cell phone to the fullest extent of the Rio de Janeiro subway. This Monday (10th), the MetroRio announced the activation of the new 4G network for phones from Claro, Vivo and TIM in the tunnels and stations of the three state lines. The novelty is the result of a partnership between the concessionaire and the telephone operators.
The novelty guarantees connection to subway customers. “The initiative provides more than 30 km of fiber optic connection via cable that guarantees improvements in signal quality in closed environments and expansion of 4G coverage for cell phones throughout the subway system”, they informed the press. The project was divided into four phases.
Line 4, finally, receives a signal from Claro, TIM and Vivo
The last stage of the project includes line 4, which connects General Osório, in Ipanema, to Jardim Oceânico, in Barra da Tijuca. This stretch, which was inaugurated at the 2016 Olympics, had no signal along the entire length between Barra da Tijuca and Ipanema until recently. But now, customers have access to Claro, TIM and Vivo’s 4G networks both in the tunnels and in the stations.
And indeed, the service is working correctly. Before, it was normal to have no signal in some parts of lines 1 and 2 and in the entire extension of line 4, regardless of the operator. But, since the first half of 2022, this reality started to change to the point that I got access to the 5G DSS Claro and Vivo passing under Pedra da Gávea (!).
I’ve even managed to make a video call via WhatsApp from inside the train on line 4.
RJ subway already had signal on lines 1 and 2
The first two stages are aimed at the trains and stations of line 1, which runs from Uruguay, in Tijuca, to General Osório, in Ipanema. Here, it is important to note that all the tracks are underground, but the tunnels already had cell signal at almost all points. At this time, the project also reached the extension of line 2, which links Pavuna to Cidade Nova, in the Center, on the surface.
The activation of the network also reached line 2. This includes the stretch operated during weekdays, which connects the Central, in the Center, to the Botafogo/Coca-Cola station, in the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro (RJ). MetrôRio also reported that there is 4G in the underground tunnels located in Maracanã, Del Castilho and Maria da Graça, in the North Zone of the state capital.
The concessionaire, however, did not mention the station and the tunnel on line 2 of Estácio station in its press release. The stop, it is worth remembering, is used to transfer between lines 1 and 2 on weekends and holidays.
Project uses Distributed Antennas System (DAS)
The initiative was announced by MetrôRio in March 2021. Following last year’s announcement, the concessionaire said this Monday (10) that the network was made up of a Distributed Antennas System (DAS). The equipment is connected to the operators’ communication base stations to provide internet access and call service.
“The transmission of the network is done through the passage of shared cable by the telecommunication operators in the underground areas of the subway”, they informed. “In all, more than 600 radio frequency antennas and cables were installed in the stations and tunnels.”
The statement also mentioned the partnership with Oi. But it is important to remember that the Oi Móvel customers were migrated to Claro, TIM and Vivo after the operator purchase.
There is no information about 5G support in the Rio de Janeiro subway tunnels.