The 600 mountain huts run by the Austrian and German Alpine Associations offer refuge, accommodation and food and drink in high altitude regions. Down the years, the expectations of mountaineers with regard to their own availability and Internet connectivity have risen considerably. The two Alpine associations have therefore entered a partnership with A1, the Austrian subsidiary of Telekom Austria Group, and launched an initiative to enable low-cost mobile phone reception and broadband Internet at even remote mountain huts using WLAN technology.
Telephone and Internet Also Extremely Important in the Mountains
"The construction of conventional base stations in uninhabited areas is often uneconomical and also often not possible for practical reasons, as suitable access roads and the power supply are a problem. For serviced mountain huts, however, access to the Internet and to the telephone network is extremely important, be it for sending messages to friends, obtaining the latest weather reports or contacting the rescue services in an emergency," said Marcus Grausam, A1 Chief Technology Officer.
Easy to Install and Cost Efficient: A1 LTE Internet and A1 Sat Internet
A1 has two products in its portfolio that can supply even remote locations cost efficiently with broadband Internet and mobile telephony: A1 LTE Internet uses outdoor antennas to amplify signals from 4G/LTE mobile base stations in the vicinity that are too weak to be received by mobile phones. A special modem delivers broadband Internet to hut guests using WLAN technology. If desired A1 Cloud Managed LAN provides a separate WLAN for office purposes and to manage network settings. The cost of the installation and the necessary equipment amounts to only a few hundred euros and the work is carried out by an A1 installation partner. The Glungezerhütte in the Tux Alps in Tyrol is one example for the successful installation of A1 LTE Internet.
In regions where not even an outdoor antenna can ensure adequate signal strength from base stations, A1 Sat Internet is the ideal solution. A small parabolic antenna is used to provide Internet access via satellite. The Lamsenjochhütte in the eastern Karwendel Mountains run by the Oberland section of the German Alpine Association was the first hut to be supplied with A1 Sat Internet within the framework of the cooperation.
"Thanks to the partnership with A1 we are able to offer our sections the possibility of a stable communication network even in remote huts. Especially in the mountains, access to the latest information is extremely valuable," said Peter Kapelari, Deputy Secretary General of the Austrian Alpine Association.
Broadband Connectivity also Provides Mobile Phone Reception for Guests
Within the framework of the cooperation agreement A1 can upon request also install a local base station on the basis of A1 LTE Internet or A1 Sat Internet that provides mobile telephony reception in the hut for up to 8 customers simultaneously.