CTA 4G

Summary

The CTA 4G initiative seeks to transform the subway system’s wireless telecommunications infrastructure with the installation of a next-generation Distributed Antenna System to support modern mobile devices.

Program

Telecommunications

Stage *

Build

CTA 4G Details

Context

In 2013, the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) sought to acquire and build a next-generation Distributed Antenna System (NG-DAS), capable of supporting the latest 4G wireless networks and mobile devices.  Upgrading the system would allow CTA riders to perform all digital mobile activities in the subway and improve first responder communications throughout the tunnel system.

In December 2013, the CTA engaged the Chicago Infrastructure Trust to explore cost-effective alternative financing strategies for the project.  The Trust engaged the four major wireless providers to discuss funding the project.

Throughout the negotiations, the Carriers’ engineering teams worked in close collaboration with the CTA’s technical team and project contractors. At the request of the Carriers, the CTA’s contractors have expanded the original design scope of the project to include panel antennas and dual Radiax cables to support all transmission frequencies. The expanded project is expected to cost $32.5M and take approximately 18 months to build.

As a result of these efforts, Chicago will have the largest subway system in North America with full 4G wireless coverage in its subway systems and tunnels. The project is entirely privately financed by the carriers.

Impact

User experience

  • Improves interconnectivity
  • Increases safety
  • Increases reliability of operations

Economic

  • Project privately financed by Carriers
  • Carriers contribute to CTA’s annual revenue stream

Leadership

  • City of Chicago leads by example as largest North American city with full 4G wireless coverage

 

CTA 4G Documents

Search
Title Date Initiative Type Format
4G Mayoral Announcement 01/30/2015 CTA 4G Miscellaneous PDF

CTA 4G Timeline

03.04.2013

Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) issues RFI to telecom and engineering firms to determine construction feasibility of a next-generation Distributed Antennae (DAS) System.

03.10.2013

CTA issues RFQ to potential (DAS) contractors.

15.10.2013

Trust initiates CTA 4G project research and due diligence.

17.10.2013

CTA holds pre-proposal meeting for potential contractors.

11.12.2013

CTA formally engages the Chicago Infrastructure Trust to evaluate alternative project financing. Trust research and due diligence effort completes.

17.02.2014

CTA issues RFP to qualified contractors.

18.04.2014

CTA receives bids from qualified contractors and begins best and final offer negotiations.

01.04.2014

Trust initiates meetings with telecom carriers regarding project involvement.

07.07.2014

CTA selects Aldridge Electric Inc. as project contractor, subject to Chicago Transit Board approval.

11.07.2014

Trust and telecom carriers agree on principles for funding participation.

16.07.2014

Chicago Transit Board approves Aldridge Electric Inc. as (DAS) project contractor.

17.07.2014

Trust Board of Directors approves CTA 4G initiative.

30.01.2015

Mayor's office and Trust publicly announce $32.5m deal between CTA and carrier group.

CTA 4G News