How we provided communications at the largest airports

    The meeting point of a mobile operator with roaming and home subscribers

    In Russia, 6 hub airports stand out from the rest. For many years, this six has dominated the ranking of the busiest airports in our country. Most of the air travel of passengers falls on them. They concentrate about 70% of the total passenger traffic traffic. These are: Domodedovo (33.04 million pass. Per year), Sheremetyevo (31.57 million pass. Per year), Pulkovo (14.26 million pass. Per year), Vnukovo (12.73 million pass. per year), Koltsovo (4.53 million pass. per year) and Tolmachevo (3.96 million pass. per year).

    Geographical location of the largest airports in Russia

    At these hub airports, we upgraded the mobile network. I was responsible for the technical and informational parts of this project.

    Airport specifics

    Mobile communication at the airports is necessary so as not to get lost in the numerous traffic flows in the terminals, to be able to talk with family and friends or discuss business matters with colleagues, as well as read posts on the Internet, post video reports on social networks, watch movies, download photos, listen music and radio, play online games during flight waiting hours.

    A characteristic feature of the largest airports is that mobile traffic is constantly growing and developing, which means that this issue is in our area of ​​attention. At the six largest airports indicated above, there is a significant passenger flow, which is largely related to the population of the cities where they are located. Moscow - a population of 12.1 million people, St. Petersburg - a population of 5.1 million people, Yekaterinburg - a population of 1.4 million people, and Novosibirsk - a population of 1.5 million people. In addition, such airports are hubs that concentrate passenger traffic. Being at a sufficient distance from each other, they form the international and domestic air transport communication of the macro-regions of our country.

    Nodal airports are special airports connecting and transiting passengers between flights from other airports. These transport hubs in the public transport industry have another, shorter name - hubs. The schedule of departures and arrivals in hubs, as a rule, is carefully selected by the airlines in order to minimize the waiting time for flights by passengers.

    The fastest way to find your family and friends in the open spaces of the airport

    In fairness, it is worth noting that passenger traffic is formed not so much by airports, they only serve and support it, but by airlines connecting their flights in air harbors. The issue of “landing” passenger traffic at an airport is always a difficult dialogue between airports and airlines, as it is very difficult to “lure” air carriers into a given air harbor and it is necessary to agree on mutual preferences. It is the airlines that form the passenger flow, and the occupancy of airports depends on them.

    Recently, a decentralized principle of load distribution on route networks of regional airports has begun to develop in our country. By introducing various regulatory measures to subsidize air travel, the situation in the segment of regional travel of passengers has changed. Passenger traffic began to be redistributed and consolidated at smaller regional airports, which only contributes to the steady development of this type of public transport in our country as a whole. Over the past ten years, the transport industry has done a lot of work to modernize and improve the infrastructure of air harbors. The regional route network is expanding throughout, new directions are rolling out, modern passenger terminals are appearing, the capacities of the material and technical base are expanding, the intensity of flights is increasing,

    A feature of recent modernization by hub airports is that the passenger terminals in them began to grow and merge into single airport complexes. This is done in order to ensure that the full-fledged hub infrastructure is developed at key airports, and passenger traffic circulates freely between the terminals when transiting passengers on connecting flights. It is expected that this will save resources and time between airline flights, when their density will increase like the largest hubs of the world level.

    Everyday vanity of passengers awaiting check-in for a flight in the terminal area

    In almost all key airports of the country, following the growth in passenger traffic, traffic began to grow on our mobile networks, both from home and roaming subscribers. And which is especially characteristic - the traffic of mobile data transmission has significantly increased. Passenger traffic in hubs creates a rather large load on the mobile network. We needed to respond to these changes in the transport industry, and therefore have time to modernize and strengthen our coverage at hub airports to provide passengers with 4G / 3G / 2G communication technologies. So gradually the topics of building mobile networks and increasing passenger traffic at airports in our company were closely intertwined, and all the activities that were at the junction of these two areas were highlighted in the project.

    Coverage Planning

    The difference between small regional airports and large hubs is that mobile communications for covering small terminal buildings are provided by standard street methods. The equipment of base stations is installed at small regional airports at nearby technical buildings or even hotels, thereby creating an external coating on the outside and also capturing parking areas in front of the terminals and runways behind the terminals. Sometimes, to increase the capacity of the network, for the regional airports we also built second stations on the street. Everything is fairly standard, as with urban positions. But for large hub airports, such typical methods did not work.

    Ensuring passenger comfort - the most important service tasks of the airport and mobile operator

    Back in the days of 2G networks, we already had external street coverage at the hub airports, like the rest of the regional airports, and this was enough to provide a voice call service. Then 3G technologies appeared, and we added 3G base stations at street positions around the hubs. However, if near the passenger terminals of these airports it was possible to use the 3G Internet service to the full, then in the buildings themselves the subscriber speeds were clearly not enough. Internet speeds in the depths of large terminals significantly “sagged”, and smartphones and tablets often “fell out” in a 2G network and remained there. And then 4G mobile technologies burst into our lives, and 4G street coverage in the key terminals of the hubs became almost “invisible”.

    Alas, the latest trends in hi-tech architecture at nodal airports have made their “contribution” to the design specifics: there is too much iron. The 4G signal broke through poorly. This is due to the fact that with an increase in carrier frequencies, usually the penetrating power of mobile communication signals is proportionally reduced. Therefore, it was necessary to do the internal coating of the terminals.

    Waiting for a transplant over mobile Internet

    Usually, to perform such tasks of enhancing coverage in buildings, either a radio repeater relaying the signal from a street base station, or a micro base station, or a femto access point is installed. But in our case with the hubs:
    1. a radio repeater would not cover large floors of large terminals,
    2. the micro base station would not have enough power and the required number of antennas used,
    3. several femtocells would have to be combined into a common system with their own characteristics, and still their capacity would not be enough for a large number of subscribers, since this is a niche solution used for small offices.

    To carry out our project for providing mobile communications at the hub airports, an option was chosen based on the construction of an additional position in the terminals with the installation of an internal base station and a distributed antenna system. The goal was to maximally cover all floors and transitions of hub terminals with mobile communications, and above all, airport terminals, international and domestic airlines. The outcome of the choice was associated with an internal antenna, and its essence is as follows.

    Distributed antenna system- This is a high-frequency system based on the principle of uniform “rolling” of the power of the base station across all floors of the building. The main thing in such an antenna is not to lose a single decibel of power on all frequency ranges of 4G / 3G / 2G technologies. The distributed antenna system itself consists of “thousands” of low-power omnidirectional (less often panel) antennas and resembles a “garland” on a Christmas tree that must be carefully and carefully hung on the floors of a building so that there is a uniform circle from all these intricacies of feeders, power dividers and radiators " lighting".

    Scheme of using a distributed antenna system as an example of a business center

    However, the “garlands" themselves can also be used differently to create internal coverage at objects. They are characteristically divided into two types: passive and active. And since we used both types at the hub airports in various passenger terminals, it’s worth a bit to characterize these systems and show our experience of their use.

    1. Passive distributed antenna systemIs a system based on coaxial high-frequency cable (feeder), power dividers, directional couplers, and low-power omnidirectional antennas. The antenna system has a higher power loss in the cable than active systems. There is a risk that on a large object the antenna may not be enough for the entire building with the floor layout of the “branches” of the passive system. Any alterations are quite complicated, and in case of “branch” failures it is harder to find a source of signal power loss. Passive antenna system is quite difficult to build up in case of further expansion of the object. The installation of feeder paths itself is time consuming and time consuming, but this is not always convenient. However, this technical solution is much cheaper than active systems, and often it is sufficient to create an internal coating. Besides,

    2. Active distributed antenna system- This is a system consisting of active diversity radio modules installed in the antenna-feeder path, the main task of which is to create additional signal amplification of the base station. These amplifying radio modules are also called active system repeaters. The head unit of the system is installed in the hardware near the base station. It converts radio emission from the base station into an optical signal and transmits it to remote radio modules of the system, which, in turn, convert it back to radio emission and output to the antennas via coaxial cables. Such antenna systems are simpler to design, easy to configure and expand, and the intermediate sections of optical cables do not impose a restriction on the propagation of the signal inside the building. In addition, the optical cable is thinner than coaxial, and it is easier to lay during installation. And due to the fact that the reinforcing elements of the system are active, it is relatively easy to find and localize breakdowns in the "branches" of the antenna system. The active system, as a rule, has its own monitoring system of its “branches”. It is also highly scalable if the building system is further expanded. In general, there are many advantages. But there is a significant drawback - it is a very high price. Therefore, at large objects, we sometimes use mixed-type antenna systems, where “branches” from passive coaxial sections are suspended in the architecture of the active antenna system. It is also highly scalable if the building system is further expanded. In general, there are many advantages. But there is a significant drawback - it is a very high price. Therefore, at large objects, we sometimes use mixed-type antenna systems, where “branches” from passive coaxial sections are suspended in the architecture of the active antenna system. It is also highly scalable if the building system is further expanded. In general, there are many advantages. But there is a significant drawback - it is a very high price. Therefore, at large objects, we sometimes use mixed-type antenna systems, where “branches” from passive coaxial sections are suspended in the architecture of the active antenna system.

    Hardware room in Domodedovo (from left to right): 3G / 2G base station, rack with six combined active 3G / 2G head units (2100/1800 MHz), and rack with four 4G active head units (2600 MHz)

    An important additional advantage of the active system is the fact that it can be easily used when implementing a multi-operator solution, since it is initially built on the principle of "one antenna for all." Due to the use of high-frequency signals from several base stations in the head unit at the input of the adder system, several cellular operators can be connected to the antenna at once. Such an implementation of a technical solution allows not using a large number of the same equipment of several operators at the same facility.

    Thus, when designing the internal coverage at the terminals of the hub airports, distributed antenna systems, both passive and active, were used. As noted above, all other technical solutions for hubs could not give us the desired result in terms of capacity and coverage. If we take up the construction of a good internal coating, then it must immediately be done at a high level.

    As a result, having provided for almost everything that was possible in the project, we proceeded to construction. About how we deployed these “non-childish” constructions in hubs, we will discuss further.

    Construction and customization

    Speaking about the implementation of the internal coverage in the hubs, it should be noted that in each specific terminal we had our own individual characteristics with the installation of antenna-feeder systems and with the integration of base stations. Indeed, the construction of internal communications at such transport enterprises is not a continuous business, but exclusive. But at the considered hub airports there were similar points, and we will discuss them further. So, we everywhere observed the same characteristic signs in hubs, mainly related to the punctuality of airport requirements. The installation with our contractors needed to be coordinated, except for the engineering services of airports, with representatives of law enforcement agencies: with border guards, with customs officers, with the FSB and with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

    A fragment of the layout of a distributed antenna system of one of the floors of terminal D in Sheremetyevo

    Judge for yourself. The hub terminals were in commercial operation and were relatively densely packed with passengers, so one could not even dream of developing truly “Stakhanov’s” mobile communication construction sites. So, in one of the large terminals, the airport gave us temporary “windows” for mounting elements of the antenna system for only 4 hours a day, from one in the morning until five in the morning, when there were less passengers in the terminal than in the afternoon. During this time, it was necessary to have time to decompose with components and tools, carry out the installation of the next section of the cable route, test it, and then fold, clean, and ... "evaporate." In fact, due to preparatory operations, even less time was spent on a clean installation of the antenna system, which only delayed our progress. But such was the order of things in these sensitive objects,

    We installed the equipment of the 4G / 3G / 2G indoor base stations in technical rooms specially allocated to us by airports and converted into equipment rooms. As a rule, airports provided operators with common facilities for telecom equipment, which is why we all “live” together at facilities. Fortunately, there were no problems with power supply in the hardware for base stations.

    Physical limitations on the implementation of antenna systems were imposed by the buildings themselves. We had to coordinate in advance and very carefully with the airports the possible locations of feeder routes so as not to disturb the interior decoration of the terminal interiors. We laid high-frequency cables on all floors of the terminals so that they were almost invisible to the eyes of passengers. Speaking of terminal internal antennas, we also “hung” them on the principle of “not spoiling” our own appearance of the terminals. Installed in buildings, they are now practically invisible anywhere, since they are maximally hidden from view at the request of airports.

    An example of an internal omnidirectional antenna at a shopping center facility

    The preparation of communication channels for base stations at airports was held here mainly without any insurmountable difficulties. For all internal stations, either own fiber-optic communication lines were laid or airport lines were leased. The width of the channel strip for Internet services is enough for everyone. And in case of further growth of the packet load on the mobile network, these channels can be expanded - the stock is provided.

    To create a “seamless” coverage inside and outside the terminals, we configured the transitions between the indoor and outdoor sectors of the base stations, and launched the constructed 4G / 3G / 2G networks on the air. It was also required to measure the realized coverage under subscriber traffic. It was important to make an assessment of what we did with the internal coverage for all technologies, what happens with the continuity of voice service of subscribers, and what were the speeds of mobile data transfer. We were interested in all the places of airports where passengers spend their time - both the airport terminal zones and the domestic and international airline zones. For this, measuring work was organized, which was previously agreed with the airport security services. Having received approval, we entered the various zones of the terminals “with escort”.

    Performing internal measurements in large buildings has its own specifics. In contrast to the measurements of street coverage of a mobile network, which are carried out while sitting in a car or on a train with a laptop in hand, measurements inside buildings are more time-consuming and are carried out with feet. In the terminals, we were equipped only with the most necessary measuring equipment and, in order not to confuse passengers of flights and airport workers, step by step, floor by floor, hour by hour, to collect invaluable information with backpacks with equipment behind our backs, we went around all the zones and passages in buildings where access was allowed.

    A characteristic feature of measurements inside the terminals was that the characteristics of radio coverage were recorded on maps not using GPS receivers. Alas, it’s possible to get attached to GPS only on street measurements, and in buildings, due to the metalwork, it’s almost impossible to catch a satellite signal. I had to pre-search the layout of the airport terminals of interest, and “tie” measurements in place. And sometimes it was not possible to find any terminal plans, and then it was necessary to photograph the fire evacuation plans directly on the objects with measuring smartphones, “overlay” the photo on the “measurement” screens as a movement map, and thus “tie” the measurements to the coverage points in the building. Not the most convenient way from the point of view of further processing of measurement results, but on sensitive objects it’s often the best,

    The results of measurements of the internal coverage of the 4G network at terminal A in Vnukovo.

    Measurements in the project revealed insignificant differences in the parameters of the internal coverage. So, at one of the airports, it turned out that through the windows sectors of the street base station penetrated deep into the terminal very deeply, underestimating subscribers with a weakened 4G / 3G Internet speed signal. To eliminate the “overexposure”, I had to correct the street coverage of the sectors by “bending” the antennas of the external base station so that inside the terminal smartphones and tablets of subscribers confidently “transplanted” to the internal network. Setting up the invisible “edge” of mobile transitions between the street and domestic sectors is always a delicate and creative work.

    Based on the results of the construction work, it could be stated that the developed layouts for internal positions at key airport terminals did not disappoint us. We only had to tighten the power parameters a little somewhere or expand the communication lines, to optimize something on the network by coverage or capacity, but in general, what was planned to be implemented in key terminals was achieved.


    The results obtained at each airport can now be described separately.

    Domodedovo Airport (Moscow). This is the first airport in the official Russian rating of the busiest airports for served passenger traffic. Domodedovo is a single passenger terminal, divided inside into sections.

    Domodedovo, common single terminal (Moscow)

    Domodedovo is the largest airport in Russia and Eastern Europe in terms of passenger traffic. Flights from Domodedovo are operated in 229 directions, 85 of which are unique to the Moscow air hub. The airport is one of the two “champions” in our country, which has planned the construction of a third runway and has begun preparatory operations.

    6 base stations provide street coverage in the airport area. Given the large area occupied by a single passenger terminal, which consists of an airport terminal and two huge galleries of domestic and international airlines, we chose an active antenna system to provide internal coverage. In Domodedovo all 4G / 3G / 2G mobile technologies have been launched. In addition, to “illuminate” the confident coverage of the 4G runway, we took the building outside and installed another additional sector on the roof. Speaking about further plans, we can say that if the terminal continues to develop in breadth and wings spread further and everything goes to this, then our antenna system is also ready to scale and expand the “branches” in all directions.

    According to the results of construction and measurements, our average data transfer rate on the territory of a single terminal in Domodedovo was 42.51 Mbit / s.

    Sheremetyevo Airport (Moscow). This is the second airport in the official Russian rating of the busiest airports in terms of served passenger traffic. Sheremetyevo is an airport of six passenger terminals: A (business), B, C, D, E, and F.

    Sheremetyevo, terminal D (Moscow)

    Sheremetyevo is the largest air terminal complex in our country. Its interesting architectural feature is that it is divided by the airfield into two independent parts: the northern zone (terminal complex ABC) and the southern zone (terminal complex DEF). The airport plans to further increase the capacity of the air harbor due to the development of the northern terminal zone. To this end, the airport plans to completely demolish the complex of buildings of the obsolete terminal B (presumably together with the well-known Sheremetyevka "shot glass"), and to replace them with a modern, larger passenger terminal. In addition, the airport plans to build a third runway.

    7 base stations provide street coverage in the airport area. Speaking about the Sheremetyevo terminals themselves, we can say that with the commissioning of the new terminal D, it has recently become the main one at the airport, its brightest star in the terminal “constellation”. It was from Terminal D that we began to strengthen our internal coverage at the airport. In this terminal, we launched coverage for all 4G / 3G / 2G mobile network technologies, having built an internal base station and an active antenna system. At the initial stage of construction, a community of interests in developing the terminal with other mobile operators was found, so we built a distributed antenna system together and at the same time. To enhance the street coverage and “flare” of the transitional gallery, we removed another 4G sector from the building to the roof in Terminal D. Besides,

    According to the results of construction and measurements, our average data transfer rate on the territory of the main terminal D at Sheremetyevo was 26.83 Mbit / s. In terminal E, our average speed was 29.14 Mbps.

    Pulkovo Airport (St. Petersburg). This is the third airport in the official Russian rating of the busiest airports in terms of served passenger traffic. Pulkovo is currently an airport of three passenger terminals: Centralized, Pulkovo-1 and Pulkovo-3 (business).

    Pulkovo, Centralized and Pulkovo-1 terminals (St. Petersburg)

    Pulkovo Airport is rightly called the large air gate of the Russian northern capital. Airport air lines stretch from the Atlantic to the Pacific and Indian Oceans and cover more than 100 cities in the world. In recent years, the airport has significantly restructured its infrastructure, while simultaneously improving both the quality of passenger service and the quality of escort aircraft, conducting active organizational work under the motto "all flags will be with us." And with the commissioning of the repaired building of the Pulkovo-1 terminal, Pulkovo Airport became the largest in northern Europe. The main passenger building at the airport is the Centralized Terminal.

    Street coverage in the airport area, we provide 4 base stations. We implemented the internal coverage in the Centralized Terminal together with other operators. The network is based on an internal base station and an active antenna system. In the Centralized Terminal, full coverage of networks of all 4G / 3G / 2G ranges has been launched.

    Based on the results of construction and measurements, our average data transfer rate on the territory of the main Centralized Terminal in Pulkovo was 20.71 Mbit / s.

    Vnukovo Airport (Moscow). This is the fourth airport in the official Russian rating of the busiest airports by served passenger traffic. Vnukovo is an airport of four passenger terminals: A, B, D, and Vnukovo-3 (business).

    Vnukovo, Terminal A (Moscow)

    Vnukovo Airport is the third airport in Moscow, making considerable competition in terms of passenger traffic to the two leading Moscow airports. However, this is a special airport. It is famous for the fact that in addition to passenger terminals, it also has two more terminals that are directly related to the first persons of the state. These terminals are used in Vnukovo to service special flights of the country's top leaders, as well as to meet officials and delegations. If we talk about passenger terminals, then among all the terminals of the airport the largest new terminal A is the architectural “pearl” of this air harbor

    5 base stations provide street coverage in the airport area. The internal coating in the main terminal A we implemented together with other operators. The largest terminal has an internal base station and an active antenna system. In terminal A, we launched all 4G / 3G / 2G mobile technologies. A feature of our internal system in Vnukovo is that it implemented active “branches” of a distributed antenna along with a small number of passive “branches”. It was a successful experiment, as a result of which we saved some of the funds and at the same time solved the issue of the lack of space for all the operators in the equipment room, as it was sorely lacking.

    According to the results of construction and measurements, our average data transfer rate on the territory of the main terminal A in Vnukovo was 28.94 Mbit / s.

    Koltsovo Airport (Ekaterinburg). This is the fifth airport in the official Russian rating of the busiest airports by served passenger traffic. Koltsovo is a passenger complex of three terminals: A, B, and VIP (business).

    Koltsovo, VIP, B and A terminals (Ekaterinburg)

    Koltsovo is a modern and rapidly developing airport. More than 40 Russian and foreign partner airlines connect the airport with more than 100 cities of the world. Timely modernization of the main terminals A and B in Koltsovo allowed the airport today to become one of the most important transfer hubs for trips of the population of the Urals and residents of neighboring regions. In the near future, the airport plans to begin a new stage of modernization, at the end of which it is expected that Koltsovo will increase its capacity by switching to a large number of passenger flows coming from nearby regions with international flights through Moscow and St. Petersburg.

    Street coverage in the airport area, we provide 2 base stations. Based on the analysis of the combined terminals A and B of Koltsovo Airport, where almost all passenger traffic is concentrated, it was decided that for the implementation of coverage it would be enough for us to install an internal base station with a passive distributed antenna system. At the moment, we have launched our own internal coverage for 3G / 2G technologies at the airport. The antenna system consists of taps, power dividers and many omnidirectional antennas, and the total length of the passive system feeder in the combined terminals is about 800 m. Currently, the issue of upgrading the antenna system and deploying a full 4G coverage in the terminal complex is being considered.

    According to the results of construction and measurements, our average data transfer rate in the complex from the combined terminals A and B to Koltsovo was 3.92 Mbit / s.

    Tolmachevo Airport (Novosibirsk). This is the sixth airport in the official Russian rating of the busiest airports for served passenger traffic. Tolmachevo is currently an airport of two passenger terminals: A and B.

    Tolmachevo, Terminals A and B (Novosibirsk)

    Tolmachevo is the largest airport and transit hub of Siberia serving the most important destinations between Europe and Asia. Sustainable development of the airport is determined by the fact that it is located in the center of business activity of the Siberian region and concentrates passenger flows from the eastern part of our country. In fact, Tolmachevo is a hub for the East. Of the two airport terminals, the key is the updated terminal A. The other terminal B has not yet been rebuilt architecturally, it is undergoing extensive modernization and expansion. At the airport, it is planned to build the middle part between the two terminals A and B, on the site of which a transitional gallery is now built. It is expected that Tolmachevo, like the rest of the largest regional "brothers", will soon become a single airport complex from terminals A and B.

    Street coverage in the airport area, we provide 2 base stations. Based on the results of the analysis of terminal A, it was determined that to strengthen coverage in Tolmachevo, it was enough to install an internal base station with a passive distributed antenna system. At the moment, we launched our own internal coverage of 3G / 2G networks in Terminal A. The issue of expanding the antenna system in Terminal A to support 4G technology is currently undergoing an analysis phase. As for terminal B, it continues to be reconstructed and expanded. In these changing architectural conditions, it’s a little early to talk about planning and building in the terminal In the internal distributed antenna system 4G / 3G / 2G.

    According to the results of construction and measurements, our average data transfer rate on the territory of the main terminal A in Tolmachevo was 5.19 Mbit / s.

    Experience gained

    Based on the results of our work and construction of additional internal coverage at the hub airports, the mobile service of 4G / 3G / 2G networks was improved. We tried to maximize the comfort for passengers during their stay at the airports. It was important for us to provide the largest coverage area and continuity of mobile service in all corners of key terminals, so that passengers use the communication in the way that is usual and convenient for them.

    It was extremely important for us that any adult or any child had the opportunity at the airports to make calls and access the Internet at the right time, without losing touch with family and friends, as well as the ability to seamlessly receive operational information from the global network.

    So, in December 2010, an incident occurred at the largest Moscow airports, which entailed serious consequences. In the region there was a strong “freezing rain”. The cyclone of nature was unique and had never before been observed in the region in such a large-scale manifestation. Hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed in three key hubs of the region, and passengers flying on New Year's holidays from all over our country turned out to be “hostages” of the situation of long waiting at airports. The Moscow interchange hub was almost "paralyzed" by ice, and the total time of many hours of waiting for flights in terms reached about 40 hours.

    Passengers during the "freezing rain" in December 2010 in Domodedovo

    The hardest time in those days was at Domodedovo Airport, where due to “freezing rain” the transformer substation, partially providing power to the terminal complex, was out of order and de-energized. Lined with ice on all sides, the airport almost plunged into darkness, “packed to the brim” with passengers. According to eyewitnesses, many people whose trips and vacations were delayed were not ready for such a situation and were on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

    These days, our network in Domodedovo “until the last bullet” provided passengers with mobile communications. While the power industry was being repaired, our base stations continued to work on batteries, “pulling” the multiply increased subscriber load. But not without losses. Due to the prolonged lack of energy at the airport, two street base stations "laid down" and left the air.

    When the elements retreated and all the runways were finally freed from ice, our company initiated processes to check and additionally upgrade the equipment of base stations at airports. The received "baptism" by the elements was a considerable test for our mobile airport networks, but in general, the base stations coped with the heavy load, and passed the test for "strength". As for the airports themselves, closer to the last days of 2010, the hubs were able to "digest" all the surging passenger traffic and seat all waiting passengers on their planes.

    Work in this direction continues today. Domodedovo, Sheremetyevo and Vnukovo are our three largest airports with distributed antenna systems. And these systems can expand if necessary. The experience gained in their implementation was very valuable. And although we were building longer than usual - since, in essence, we went to work abroad (from the point of view of security specialists), in the end it was nice to see the result of our work.

    In conclusion, I would like to thank all the colleagues who took part in the planning, construction, measurements and settings at the airports, branches and regional offices of VimpelCom, all suppliers and, of course, our contractors. Everything worked out.

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