Photo: Ingrid Scheffler

The German phrase “München mag Dich” – Munich loves you – is the official slogan of the Bavarian metropolis and it expresses a certain lust for life. It stands for a modern, cosmopolitan, young and rich city which can offer everything the heart desires in terms of comfort, education, culture, sport, the very best in entertainment and all possible forms of communication. And this high standard of living is something the company GWG Städtische Wohnungsgesellschaft München mbH wants to provide in an area of people with lower incomes. GWG currently manages more than 27 000 rented apartments, some of which are on the Maikäfer estate built in 1938.

This is where those responsible at GWG decided to initiate a pilot project with a special social goal in mind. After a twenty-year phase of redevelopment and modernization, more than 630 households were given an FO connection in 2015. The standard basic service of 3 Mbit/s Internet access is free of charge for all tenants. GWG wants to create equal digital opportunities.

Technical obstacles

The technical implementation was challenging for the cabling experts of R&M partner Neumeier, Hegmann & Co. The Maikäfer estate in Munich is outside the area of coverage of M-net, the leading regional network operator in Bavaria. The only things available were the standard telephone lines and a cable TV connection with coax cabling and satellite reception. Neumeier, Hegmann & Co operates the cable TV network.

The GWG stipulations meant only the most modern state-of-the-art equipment could be used. The company wants to be able to provide tenants with an alternative to the DSL services on offer from telephone network operators. And that is why the only solution possible was FTTH. As part of the redevelopment of the district, GWG had, with foresight, built some new property with fiber optic cables. “But first we had to build an M-net FO backbone into the estate and create an entirely new network from the street into the houses,” explains Heribert Neumeier, Managing Director of Neumeier, Hegmann & Co.

Necessary solutions

The next step was to connect the cabling systems within the properties with appropriate solutions. GWG had already had fiber optic cable and multimedia distributor boxes installed in the individual apartments.

R&M Venus boxes of type FXXL-SCM were used as building entry points. The flexible, modular concept of the Venus box made it possible to find the corresponding configuration of splice and patch units for every building in next to no time.

The multimedia distributor boxes in the apartments offered little space for additional components. The technicians from Neumeier, Hegmann & Co. implemented their entire technical know-how and a range of ideas to pack the circuit engineering into the distributor boxes. The flat construction of the 22 mm high R&M fiber outlet proved to be an advantage.

Some of the distributor boxes were just under the ceiling. This made installation work difficult and required considerable resourcefulness. The splice device, for example, had to be positioned on a ladder. This was pretty unusual even for the experienced installation team. However, the quick mounting technology of the fiber outlet simplified connectivity issues.

The Maikäfer estate in Munich

The Maikäfer estate, built in 1938, was GWG’s first own construction project. Minimal floor plans and simple standards in both construction and furnishing were characteristic of the apartments. The municipal housing company’s mission was to provide favorably priced homes quickly. For decades, the Maikäfer estate with its gardens and landscaped park was a dwelling place for large families and people with all levels of income who were committed to close neighborly relations.
Sixty years later, a lot of the town houses were in poor condition. GWG gradually had the entire estate modernized between 1994 and 2014. Many of the rented buildings had to be demolished and replaced by new ones. Throughout the project GWG made every effort to retain the original character of the area.

The result: The settlement has witnessed an impressive metamorphosis. It has become a comfortable, reasonably priced district in the middle of a thriving, pulsating metropolis.

There are now 950 fit-for-purpose apartments available with a contemporary design. These are home to a wide range of inhabitants who all stick together. Students, small young families and people living on their own feel just as much at home here as a number of older couples. They all benefit from a light-flooded, quiet living atmosphere, from a lot of greenery that ensures a pleasant town climate, and now also from state-of-the-art broadband technology.

In the end, a new way had to be found to directly address the individual subscriber connections during installation. The plan was to wire the apartments without a link with a sign-on procedure because there is no obligation for tenants to make use of the basic Internet provision. The easy-to-use tray technology of the R&M Single Circuit Management (SCM) system provided the technicians with optimal support.

“There were both technical and legal obstacles to be overcome during realization,” says Neumeier, Hegmann & Co. Managing Director Melanie Claussen. “We are pleased we were able to work in close collaboration with R&M on this one, as they managed to get GWG and M-net up and running in just a few months.”

When the FTTH network was launched in the Maikäfer estate in the fall of 2015, 430 households opted in on the Internet scheme. All they had to do was register at Neumeier, Hegmann & Co. and plug in the free router from M-net. Another 200 households are to follow. If it should transpire that 3 Mbit/s is not sufficient, tenants can upgrade their connection at a favorable price.