UK authorities to boost mobile broadband on trains

UK rail authorities plan to roll out high-speed broadband services on the busiest parts of the country’s rail network, according to a government statement published this week.

The scheme is set to benefit 70% of the travelling public by 2019, although passengers will start to notice improvements from 2015, according to the Department for Transport’s release.

Authorities aim to boost mobile signals on trains by upgrading existing infrastructure and installing new on-board equipment.

UK rail authorities plan to roll out high-speed broadband services on the busiest parts of the country’s rail network, according to a government statement published this week.

The scheme is set to benefit 70% of the travelling public by 2019, although passengers will start to notice improvements from 2015, according to the Department for Transport’s release.

Authorities aim to boost mobile signals on trains by upgrading existing infrastructure and installing new on-board equipment.

A number of rail operators in the UK have already launched Wi-Fi services for customers in partnership with the country’s telecoms operators, but availability is sporadic.

Moreover, the DfT’s statement suggests authorities are looking to cellular technologies – and perhaps 4G technology, which UK operators have recently started deploying – for future improvements.

“There are few things more frustrating than trying to phone a friend or access the internet, only to be thwarted by bad signal,” said transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

“Passengers deserve to have the best mobile technology and that is why I am pleased that industry is coming together to make that a reality.

The DfT says the program will tackle so-called ‘not spots’ – where there is poor or intermittent coverage of mobile phone signals – to deliver a more consistent service for passengers.

It now plans to begin working on a business case describing how the improvements will be funded.