Winter Services are Looking for Dead Zones
Not net? The internet is too slow? Salzburg is well placed for radio and data connections, but not the same everywhere. Network coverage is sometimes insufficient, especially in rural areas. The employees of the winter services are therefore on a double mission this year: Clear the streets and incidentally uncover radio and data holes mercilessly. With the support of Salzburg Research, the state of Salzburg is looking for blind spots in the mobile broadband service parallel to the winter service.
Snow clearing and gritting vehicles are currently also in the service of research in the province of Salzburg. They were equipped with mobile measuring instruments from the Salzburg Research Forschungsgesellschaft, which continually measure the quality of mobile data connections when driving on the roads. Already throughout the winter, the measuring boxes were carried in various winter maintenance vehicles. Many federal and provincial roads in Flachgau, Pongau and Tennengau have already been measured, and the Lungau is currently being inspected.
Private individuals and companies are increasingly dependent on reliable mobile phone reception. “Modern telematics applications, such as real-time salt-collection, home-care applications or new home-based life models, need reliable data connections. In particular, the vehicles of the winter services are traveling several times a day on all state and federal roads throughout the state and measure – in addition to their actual task – the data connection at each location, using our mobile measuring boxes”, says Peter Dorfinger, Research Director for Intelligent Communication Technologies Salzburg Research.
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50,000 Kilometers „Measured“
Three measuring boxes are on the state roads in use, 50,000 kilometers they were in the “cockpit” of the clearing vehicles on the way, in March it is still the Pinzgau’s turn. “A very large amount of data that comes together because every second a measurement takes place. With the findings, we can create a map of Salzburg, which shows exactly where the cell phone and data connection is still in need of improvement”, explain project leader Peter Dorfinger of Salzburg Research and Fabian Prudky, Broadband Coordinator of the State of Salzburg.
Card “Unmasks” the Dead Spots
The measurements provide reliable data to identify areas without adequate network coverage in the province of Salzburg. A glance at already created maps shows immediately: Black areas along the provincial roads still have some catching up to do, with the green ones the Salzburg residents have a good connection.
Smart Metering System for Network Quality
The basis for the measuring system is the modular MINER infrastructure from Salzburg Research. This makes it possible to carry out measurements of transmission quality in coordinated and distributed manner. Various measuring tools and measuring methods can be combined and complex evaluations of the quality of Internet services can be realized. This system has been developed in several research projects and is now used in a variety of applications.
See also: Country correspondence from 11.03.2019: Snowplows Scan Salzburg on Dead Spots (in German)