Telecom Test Solutiions

MDOT MTA 700 MHz Radio Migration – Baltimore Cell Expansion

MDOT MTA 700 MHz Radio Migration

Client: Maryland Transit Administration (MTA)


The MDOT MTA is required to migrate from a UHF Smartnet Radio System into the state-wide 700MHz Maryland FiRST radio system by 2021. To comply, MDOT MTA must replace its existing GoldElite radio dispatch consoles with new MCC7500 consoles, procure portables and mobile radios (2800 subscribers), and add eight 700MHz channels to the system’s Baltimore Cell.

To accomplish this, GL provided design consulting and resident engineering for the Baltimore Cell Expansion as well as a fully redundant Metro off-air interface for Tunnel Radio Communications System. This extends the seamless 700 MHz radio coverage throughout the MDOT MTA service area covering regional bus routes, Metro and Light rail stations, metro tunnel and facilities. In addition to 14 remote Bi-directional Amplifier (BDA) locations in the tunnel, it included two more locations for the 700 MHz BDA’s at the Owings Mills station and Sudbrook tunnel. As required by Maryland FiRST, all the system nodes were integrated with NetGuardian, a fault detection and network management system, used for monitoring the entire State-wide 700 MHz radio system. Services provided also included extensive drive testing support for the entire Baltimore cell. Many grids were tested to verify the coverage acceptance criteria of 3.4 DAQ for the Transit and Public Safety. The project was accomplished within budget and on-time.

GL is currently leading effort for overall 700 MHz migration for all Bus, Metro and Light Rail modes for technical specifications, planning and deployment of MCC7500 Consoles and mobile radios retrofitting in railcars. GL is intimately involved with information gathering and stakeholders’ coordination alongside the MDOT MTA Engineering and DoIT/Maryland FiRST team for implementing fleet map and talk groups configuration for the migration phase.