The development of digital technologies makes our everyday life easier. We also use the internet when we are out and about, make video calls or stream our favorite playlists. In order to meet the increasing demands of our digital life, constant modernization and flexibility of mobile phone networks is therefore essential.
Where stationary facilities reach their limits, the so-called
"mobile radio trailer" (mrt)
comes into play - a fast and flexible solution for network coverage.
You can find out everything about the special properties of the mrts and their importance for mobile communications from Christoph Bügel.

Mr. Bügel, what exactly is an mrt?

An mrt is a mobile radio station for flexible use and ensures cell phone coverage. It is particularly suitable for events, major events, natural disasters and emergencies, such as the flood disaster in summer 2021. It also serves as a replacement location for conversions and optimizations of existing radio networks. Equipped with system technology and an integrated chassis, the mrt can be transported as an independent trailer system and set down hydraulically on site.

How did the development of the mrts come about?

Vodafone initiated the development of the mrts in 2010 for a very practical reason. Predecessors of the mrt, so-called "cell on wheels", had been in use in Germany since the 1980s. With the increasing requirements and higher complexity, the cell on wheels could no longer meet the static properties and requirements of the time. Further development was required. We already had many years of experience in the construction of roof locations in connection with cranes. So it was obvious that we should take care of the further development.
How long have mrts been in use?

The first prototype was largely developed in 2010 by Hans-Georg Schwan. The mrt was already in use the following year during the Pope's visit at the time. This was followed by inquiries from the mobile network operators. Already in March 2015, the big hit came with the order of 60 mrts by Vodafone for the connect test in September 2015. The closing of the supply gaps was the breakthrough in the acceptance and realization of the mrts. Around 800 mrts are currently in operation throughout Germany.

What are the advantages of an mrt?

The mrt is considered a "flying construction" and thus fulfills special legal, static and constructional requirements and is not subject to comprehensive building permits in comparison to stationary masts. This saves time and administrative effort. In addition, the statics of the mrts are exclusive and have unique static properties that also enable them to be used for longer periods. At the place of use itself, assembly and commissioning only take a few hours.

Explain to us how it works, what technology is behind it?

As in the automotive industry, the mrts principle is based on modules that are combined together. Base, mast, cage and technical container. The mrts themselves are already equipped with system technology so that they can be integrated directly into the existing mobile network on site and put into operation via radio link. Different model series and different extension heights of up to 30 meters are possible depending on the requirements and the place of use. Once a suitable space has been found, a power connection or mobile power generators are required in order to be quickly operational even in remote areas.

Mr. Bügel, thanks for the interview!