Telekom Austria hits network high by using LTE, satellite to connect Alpine huts

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Telekom Austria has brought mobile connectivity to remote huts in the Tux Alps and Karwendel Mountains after partnering with the German and Austria Alpine associations.

The regions prove too onerous to build traditional base stations, provide power and access sites. The operator's A1 subsidiary supplied its LTE Internet and Sat Internet products to overcome these problems and connect 600 mountain huts.

The former uses outdoor antennas that amplify signals from LTE base stations that were formerly too weak to reach mobile phones. The operator also provides a special modem to supply broadband internet using WLAN.

The Glungezerhütte in the Tux Alps in Tyrol was one of the first sites to be connected in this way.

Telekom Austria said the project cost "several hundred euros". 

In more remote areas that are unreachable by signals from base stations, A1 provided connectivity through satellites connecting to a small parabolic antenna. The first hut to be connected using this tech was the Lamsenjochhütte in the eastern Karwendel Mountains.

Marcus Grausam, A1 Chief Technology Officer, said: “The construction of conventional base stations in uninhabited areas is often uneconomical and also often not possible for practical reasons, as suitable access roads and the power supply are a problem. For serviced mountain huts, however, access to the internet and to the telephone network is extremely important, be it for sending messages to friends, obtaining the latest weather reports or contacting the rescue services in an emergency."

Peter Kapelari, Deputy Secretary General of the Austrian Alpine Association, added: “Thanks to the partnership with A1 we are able to offer our sections the possibility of a stable communication network even in remote huts. Especially in the mountains, access to the latest information is extremely valuable.”