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Société du Grand Paris has picked TDF to build the indoor antenna mobile network for the entire future Metro Line 18 in south-west Greater Paris.

From launch of the line’s first section in 2026, Metro travellers will enjoy flawless 4G / 5G mobile coverage. They will be able to take advantage of top-quality voice connectivity – for phone calls – and data for internet browsing or watching videos.

35 km long including 21 km underground, the line will run from Orly Airport to Versailles Chantiers in just 30 minutes stopping at ten stations along the way. This eagerly-awaited new metro will whisk travellers to very popular stops like Massy-Palaiseau, Orly Airport, Plateau de Saclay – university and scientific research hub – and St Quentin en Yvelines.

Line 18 will be commissioned in several stages:

  • 2026: Massy-Palaiseau to CEA Saint-Aubin
  • 2027: Massy-Palaiseau to Orly Airport
  • 2030: CEA Saint-Aubin to Versailles Chantiers

A big technical challenge in a tricky rail environment

To overcome restrictions of this hugely challenging construction job, TDF has created and designed a specific technical architecture including 200 antenna to install in stations along the line while two Grand Paris Express remote premises will house telecom operator hardware.
As impartial network operator, TDF will deploy a network of distributed multi-operator antenna (“DAS” – Distributed Antenna System) that will pool services for France’s four MNOs.

To cover metro tunnels, trenches, ground and overhead rail track sections, TDF and its partner Eiffage Energie Systèmes will team up combining their complex environment installation expertise.

Design feasibility studies will begin in 2023 and construction work in 2024.

A socially responsible and inclusive project

TDF’s and its partners’ worksite will also hire unemployed people. 10% of manhours required for the whole project will be worked by socially disadvantaged or previously unemployed people while 20% will be outsourced to local SMEs.

TDF has also decided to minimize the network’s power consumption. TDF will take such steps in liaison with relevant mobile operators. Special attention will additionally be paid to building antenna systems into the planned architecture of every station involved.

TDF Group CEO Olivier Huart said: “Indoor mobile coverage including shopping malls, office buildings and event halls is a big challenge we’re proud to take on. Having successfully rolled out many indoor networks in stations, Rennes Metro and road tunnels, we’re really thrilled to be awarded this installation contract under Société du Grand Paris’s challenging and eagerly-awaited construction project. Our end-to-end expertise in design, installation, operation and maintenance of pooled multi-operator networks will stand us in good stead to deliver seamless and constant mobile connectivity to all Line 18 travellers throughout their journey”.