WiFi Advances in Grand Central Terminal

MTA Metro-North Railroad announced that a consortium of carriers has contracted with Ericsson to design and install a wireless network inside Grand Central Terminal and the Park Avenue Tunnel.

This new distributed antenna system (DAS) will be funded by the consortium of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless at no cost to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. DAS will allow virtually all Metro-North customers to access cellular services throughout Grand Central and the Park Avenue Tunnel. The wireless carriers also will allow customers to access Wi-Fi throughout Grand Central.

The carriers will provide to the MTA a system that includes a separate fiber and radio communications network for use by railroad, MTA Police, NYPD, FDNY and emergency responders. Due to its extensive experience with these types of complex projects, Ericsson was selected to design and install the entire system.

This deal will provide significant improvements in customer service, railroad operations and emergency management in GCT, all at no cost to MTA or Metro-North.

The public safety communications network will be transferred to and owned by Metro-North. Over the course of the 20-year arrangement, Metro-North and the MTA expect to receive license revenues of $4.3 million from the carriers.

Ericsson has already started work, however, the network is expected to take more than two years before it is fully operational because of the complexity of installing system hardware in the Grand Central complex, including its track areas and tunnels, without disrupting the movement of Metro-North's nearly 700 daily trains.