Working behind thick walls

Solid, thick walls. Working in tunnels under the surface of the water – with one foot in Switzerland and one in Germany. The construction of an in-house mobile communication facility at Laufenburg power station posed a number of particular challenges for Network 41 employees.


Laufenburg power station stands imposingly in the middle of the Rhine. Its solid walls and towers give it the appearance of a fortress. The Swiss-German border runs right through the middle of it. Network 41 employees were confronted with a number of challenges on this assignment. Swisscom commissioned a new in-house mobile communication facility – and installation work was to adhere to the rigorous safety regulations that apply in the power plant.

Particular importance is attached to operational reliability, occupational health and safety and environmental protection at power plants. Special rules also applied to work carried out close to electrical facilities as well as in very tight and noisy spaces – which was often the case at Laufenburg power plant, of course. "When the job was complete, the power plant management were very pleased with how the Network 41 team had gone about their work. Everything went smoothly and we met all requirements," says project coordinator Tom Schläppi.

Meticulous planning and a lot of experience were required to install the in-house facility in this labyrinthine building with six upper floors, an attic and a ground floor as well as five underground floors. The system was to be capable of transmitting both voice messages and data. In the end, 60 aerials, 50 HF components, 4 ERS systems and a base station were installed.

Auf LinkedIn teilen

How is FEDRO increasing tunnel safety?
Swiss rescue services’ radio network refurbished and extended in tunnels


Network 41 ensures emergency services can be reliably contacted

The Federal Roads Office (FEDRO) contracted Network 41 to refurbish the leaky feeders and install the antenna system for the Polycom network so as to ensure that the emergency rescue services can be reliably contacted in the Baregg Tunnel (Aargau) and the Neuenhof Tunnel (Zurich). The Polycom network is the radio system of the Swiss emergency rescue and security services.

In the first stage of operations, Network 41 refurbished 700 metres of leaky feeder cable in the traffic tube of the Baregg Tunnel. Other stages involved our specialists fitting antennas in the six transverse tunnels and connecting them to the control centres. Network 41 installed a total of 1,000 metres of leaky feeder cable in the service tubes under the roadway.

“Since the tunnels had to be closed for most of this work, it was carried out at night. This required the installations to be performed swiftly and in close coordination with the NSNW (the roads authority of north-western Switzerland). The fact that we had to run 1,000 metres of cable overhead was especially challenge for us: it meant drilling an overhead hole approx. every 90 cm to be able to fix the cables. It was physically strenuous work carried out precisely and under pressure of time,” says Network 41 project manager Cédric Brunner.

Network 41 set up a new mast for the Baregg Tunnel radio network as well as fitting the tunnel control centres at Baregg and Neuenhof with in-house antennas.

Network 41 guarantees secure network coverage!

Auf LinkedIn teilen

How does Swisscom keep its network up to date?
With system upgrades for a cutting-edge mobile network

Swisscom modernises its mobile network with Network 41

Swisscom aims to extend its mobile network now and in the future so as to keep it up-to-date with the latest technology. For this reason, Network 41 has been contracted to carry out system upgrades at more than 300 antenna sites.

Swisscom guarantees its customers maximum connectivity everywhere in Switzerland at all times. In order to maintain this service, annual system upgrades are carried out at all antenna sites. This ensures the network keeps up with the latest developments in technology. 

In 2016, Network 41 carried out LTE/4G expansions at 300 sites. The system components are now placed directly at the antennas so as to reduce performance loss in the HF cables. 

“With such a large number of sites, it’s important to keep the organisation lean. This means clearly structured and well-defined procedures, optimum use of capacity and – thanks to the enormous trust placed in us by Swisscom – the ability to work independently,” says Network 41 subproject manager Lukas von Rotz. He adds: "One thing is certain: these antenna sites are well-equipped for the technologies of the future.”

We will climb any heights for a modern network.


Auf LinkedIn teilen

Who were the pioneers?
Antenna in a cable conduit – Network 41 pilots a world first for Swisscom

Antenna in a cable conduit – Network 41 pilots a world first for Swisscom

In order to keep up with the increasing demand for mobile services, it has become necessary to build mobile network base stations for full geographical coverage. Swisscom came up with a solution: the so-called «antenna in the cable conduit», a world first which the company patented and then piloted in collaboration with Network 41.

As the demand for mobile services increases, many base stations are reaching their limits. New ones are now required so as to be able to cope with the data load. Swisscom developed a pioneering innovation to solve this problem: antennas in the cable conduit (small cells in manholes) – base stations with a more limited range put positioned at numerous sites. The sites are selected so as to tap into existing infrastructures as quickly as possible. Swisscom connects the small cells to the existing telecommunications infrastructure in street cable ducts. The advantage of the solution is that is invisible since it disappears underground. It took Swisscom one year to develop this world first: antennas with specific properties that make them suitable for use in cable conduits. The manhole covers also have to have certain material characteristics for the small cells to be able to function. Swisscom patented this solution of the antenna in the cable conduit and piloted it in collaboration with Network 41 in Zurich. 

«What was particularly exciting about this project with Swisscom was that we got to work on an innovation that didn’t exist anywhere else in the world in this form. What is more Network 41 was involved across the board – from project planning and underground construction to cable feed, splicing, installation, integration and construction supervision», says Cédric Brunner, project manager with Network 41.

Network 41 – one step ahead when it comes to global innovations, too!

Auf LinkedIn teilen

What can be achieved with COWs?
Mobile network coverage ensured for all open air visitors

COWs ensure that more than 400,000 festival-goers enjoy good reception

Under contract to Ericsson, Network 41 has set up mobile stations at six open air festivals in Switzerland for the provider Salt. Network 41 ensured sufficient mobile network coverage for Salt users among the 400,000 visitors to festivals in Birrfeld, Hinwil, St. Gallen, Nyon, Heitere and Zurich.

The large numbers of festival visitors and the location of the festival grounds required a higher level of mobile coverage than normally existed in these areas. Network 41 set up mobile stations – so-called COWs (cells on wheels) – so as to ensure that Salt users among the open air guests enjoyed 100% telephone reception and good internet coverage.

The provider determined the type of configuration and positioning of the COWs based on the number of anticipated guests and the nature of the terrain. Network 41 installed the equipment accordingly and provided the connection to the Salt network.

Before Network 41 was able to erect the mobile stations, a precise analysis was carried out of the situation on site, the ground was prepared and transportation of the COWs, cranes and lifting platforms was organised for the set-up process. Network 41 project manager Cédric Brunner found installing the COWs a particularly enjoyable challenge: in spite of precise planning, the Network 41 team had to be spontaneous and come up with improvised but effective solutions – often in collaboration with the festival organisers.

Network 41 gets you online even when you’re busy rock’n-rolling!

Auf LinkedIn teilen

How does the customer benefit?
Good things are not always visible

The hotel «Frutt Lodge & Spa» is situated on the sunny plateau of Melchsee-Frutt at an altitude of 1920 metres – it is Europe’s highest-altitude 4-star hotel, overlooking a lake and offering a breathtaking view of the starlit sky.­ This mountain island at the heart of Switzerland is far removed from the hustle and bustle of day-to-day life – the perfect spot to find peace, space and time, set amid­ the vast natural expanse of a mystic mountain landscape. It was in this setting that Network 41 was called upon to install one of the most state-of-the-art mobile communication systems­ without impairing the tradition-steeped appearance of the building­.

What challenges were involved?

In addition to the requirement of installing a mobile network that was to be invisible to guests, there were a number of other issues to clarify­ with the customer. For example: what radiation output and antenna distribution were required to ensure adequate reception? Which services were to be available to guests, which to staff? What was the regular bandwidth­ and what peak output was to be supported? Other challenges facing Network 41 as the service provider responsible included the following: How can travel, board and lodging be efficiently organised for staff­­? What construction periods are to be planned for lengthier overhead work­? What insulation, construction materials and covers are required?

How does the customer benefit?

The installation provides improved mobile phone reception for guests in the lobby as well as enhancing internal communication between the various departments­. In addition to being able to purchase regular WiFi reception at an additional charge, guests can also enjoy unlimited communication using the in-house mobile­ network solution – even in a remote mountain region.

Customary quality in perfect harmony with a longstanding tradition!

Auf LinkedIn teilen

to top