High-speed Wi-Fi for the Zugspitze

Nov 25, 2016

Now, T-Systems & Telekom Deutschland are bringing high-speed Wi-Fi to the Zugspitze as well, and enabling Telekom hotspots to climb to new record heights.
Visitors to the Zugspitze now have two things to enjoy. As well as marveling at the spectacular mountain panorama, they can also pass on their impressions to friends on the internet directly from the viewing platform or the peak-top restaurant – thanks to the newly-installed free Telekom hotspot located at around 3,000 meters above sea level. This is now the highest hotspot in Germany.
Highest Telekom hotspot in Germany

The Federal Ministry's OPENWLAN initiative

T-Systems & Telekom Deutschland were commissioned with the provision and installation of this service by the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). The "OPENWLAN BMVI" initiative aims to highlight the importance of faster internet access for improving social inclusion. These efforts involve support for the proliferation of free, public Wi-Fi offerings at the Ministry's properties. The reason the Zugspitze falls into this category is because the German meteorological service (DWD) operates an observatory on the mountain, and this meteorological institute is a department of the BMVI.
And it was the meteorological perspective that proved to be a particular challenge in setting up the new Wi-Fi service. There are frosty conditions at the top of the Zugspitze on around 300 days of the year. The lowest temperature ever recorded on the mountain was -35.6 degrees Celsius, with winds speeds of up to 300 km per hour also a possibility. What's more, the typical warm, down-slope winds known as the “Föhn” can cause rapid changes in weather conditions, and the position of the Zugspitze at the entrance to the Alps leaves it fully exposed to events of this kind. Moist masses of air from the north build up on the mountain's slopes and cause precipitation.

Excellent reception in all weather conditions

The location demanded use of extremely robust equipment, such as custom-built mounting brackets and protective stainless steel pipes for access points, data cables and power lines. When positioning the Wi-Fi antennas, engineers had to take account of the prevailing wind directions and their impact on reception quality. Additionally, transporting all the necessary tools, materials and personnel to the top of the mountain by cable car was a challenging logistical exercise. The new Telekom hotspot has been symmetrically connected via an existing fiber optic cable with 34 Mbit/s, initiating a dramatic 16-fold increase in the speed available on the Zugspitze. This service is based on CompanyConnect, T-Systems' portfolio of dedicated internet lines for professional e-Business and the public sector.
Highest Telekom hotspot in Germany goes into operation.
T-Systems and Telekom Deutschland are bringing high-speed Wi-Fi to the Zugspitze. The country's highest Telekom hotspot provides free internet access for visitors to the "roof of Germany".

DWD's portal page provides information and weather news

The up to 4,000 daily visitors to Germany's highest peak remain blissfully unaware of all the challenges involved in providing the new Wi-Fi service. They simply connect their mobile devices to the Telekom hotspot and enjoy free, unlimited online access. The service routes users to a special portal page on which the DWD provides up-to-the-minute information and weather news. Deutsche Telekom has designed this welcome page in accordance with the special needs of the DWD. It's easy to maintain and also provides DWD administrators with statistics on service usage. This Wi-Fi system in the clouds therefore provides an additional important marketing function for the German meteorological service and the OPENWLAN initiative of the BMVI.