With the help of processed panes, Deutsche Bahn wants to improve mobile phone reception in regional trains. In Bavaria and Berlin/Brandenburg, according to the state-owned company, trains are being used for the first time in which windows have been made permeable to mobile communications with a laser. This improves mobile phone reception on the train by a factor of 100, the railways told the German Press Agency.

According to DB, the two trains for the Southeast Bavarian Railway and the Berlin/Brandenburg region (Elbe-Spree network) are a pilot project for which other transport associations and authorities are being sought as partners. “Our experts have worked intensively to ensure that disc lasers also work in demanding railway applications,” said DB Board Member Daniela Gerd tom Markotten, who is responsible for digitization and technology, according to the announcement.

In addition to better mobile phone reception, the technology also contributes to resource protection: “We don’t need a single new train disc. Once lasered, the discs allow mobile phone signals from all providers and all current and future mobile phone standards to enter the train almost unhindered,” said Gerd tom Markotten.

To protect against heat, the windows of trains are covered with a wafer-thin layer of metal. This metal layer is difficult for cell phone waves to penetrate. To make it more permeable, a fine network structure is worked into the metal layer using a laser. Thanks to the filigree pattern, mobile phone signals reach the interior of the train much better than before. The millimeter-thin lines change the thermal protection only minimally, they are hardly visible to the naked eye.