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Case Story: The Tunnel of Tampere


Tampereen Rantatunneli - Ulkona

The 2,4 km long Rantaväylä tunnel which is connecting east and west sides of Tampere city in Finland will be soon opened for traffic. From the beginning, the public opinion has grown in favor and against the major project. Contractors are constantly under the magnifying glass, so everything has to work properly from the outset - also the mobile network.

Empower Oy is a conglomerate company, which data network division is responsible for the implementation of indoor mobile coverage solution in Rantaväylä tunnel in Tampere. The solution allows three carrier networks with a booking for one future operator – also auto radio should be audible inside the tunnel. Field Manager Kimmo Eliander was assigned to the responsibility of the construction-site for two-and-a-half-months.

"In general, we build networks on masts and attics, but now we went underground," says Kimmo. "The tunnel had been excavated and the cable tray had been put in, but otherwise it was dark inside, wet floor and ground looked like a potato field."

Network first

The reason why the indoor coverage technique had to be installed early on is very simple: the controlling of a multi-contractor project could not work properly underground without mobile network coverage.

"Our partner provided us a scissor lift on large wheels”, -tells Eliander. “However it was not very steady on the uneven floor, it helped us to set up the cable.”

The 1-5/8” RF cable, which hangs on the ceiling of each lane, is the heart of the indoor network system of the tunnel. "Leaky RF cable which provides such a high capacity is quite chunky," - laughs Eliander, who has a piece of wrist thick cable in his office token as a memory. “Two kilometer cable reels were huge.”

Tampereen Rantatunneli - Tunnelissa

Deeper cooperation

Both the RF cable with supplies and the fiber optic network were built of Orbis’s components. "Our portfolio met this case unusually well," describes Orbis’s Account Manager Pasi Hopponen, who has long history of cooperation with Kimmo. "Not every component is valid for multi-operator network, but the customer did not have to shop around, because he got everything from us."

Over the years the customer relationship between Kimmo and Orbis’s Pasi has almost scrambled into a friendship, and issues are told straight out. "As it should be," - says Kimmo. "No need to be cap in hand like in the bank."

Tampereen Rantatunneli - Konehuone

Where the value comes in

Eliander thinks seriously about the reasons for deeper cooperation. “Orbis has a little bit better products and deliveries work properly” – he says. “In addition, products have been tested in cooperation with the client, listening to the suggestions from the field.”

The value provided by such a supplier as Orbis, includes time-saving details – for example, suitable equipment for installation. Pasi from Orbis says: “Customer knows a lot, but we bring in the fine-tuning.”

Orbis’s account in the Tampere tunnel project is not just about supply of materials. “We also rented measuring devices from Orbis for testing the ready-made network. The client requires measurement results for approving the project” – says Kimmo. “In this kind of a place, if something happens, the network connection must operate without fail.”

Once-in-a-life-time project?

The biggest Eliander’s work project before Rantaväylä tunnel in Tampere was the business center Ideapark. 

“In general, indoor coverage network is used in shopping centers, parking garages and in new energy-efficient houses,” –he says. “Tampere tunnel has been a different and challenging project for building this kind of a network.”

Kimmo does not think that there will be another project like Tampere tunnel, at least not in Tampere. “It is great if you can leave your own fingerprint on such a huge project” –says Kimmo. “The most important thing is that network is operating well and its users are satisfied.”

Tampereen Rantatunneli - Eliander

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