UK train operator Greater Anglia says it is working with mobile company EE, to improve 4G coverage on the rail network in East Anglia. The train company reports that it has commissioned the installation of new mobile masts covering sections of track where the signal had previously been weak. The plan is aimed at improving the functionality of the on-train WiFi and on-board systems that require a 4G signal.
So far, a total of 24 masts have been installed, with a further eleven to follow. The areas of poor coverage which are being addressed are mainly in Suffolk, where eleven new masts are being installed, with nine new poles in Essex, one in Cambridgeshire, eight in Norfolk and six in London.
In 2020, Greater Anglia also increased the bandwidth available on its new Stadler trains to ensure customers could enjoy faster browsing speeds when using the free WiFi. The new Stadler trains operate on regional routes in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, the Norwich – London mainline and Stansted Express services. In total the operator carries some 85 million passengers annually on its fleet of around 1,000 carriages.
Clinton Smith, Greater Anglia’s Head of Information Technology Projects, said, "This important project will enable us to ensure we have reliable 4G coverage across as much of the rail network as possible.
"It means our train systems can operate smoothly and reliably as they will maintain a good signal and passengers can benefit from un-interrupted free WiFi and mobile phone coverage when travelling with us. It also offers the added benefit of improving mobile coverage for communities in the vicinity of the masts and for the emergency services in rural areas."
Jon Pollock, Director of BT’s Enterprise unit, South and Wales, added: "The installation of 35 new EE 4G mobile sites along the East Anglia rail network ensures that users can continue to enjoy strong mobile coverage via the largest and most reliable 4G network in the UK. It also provides reassurance that the emergency services and first responders can stay connected in even the most remote areas."
On-train WiFi services, trackside wireless networks, the growing market for passenger WiFi and on-board entertainment will be the main subjects of BWCS’ WiFi on Trains Conference on November 16th and 17th this year. For information on speaking and exhibiting and the one remaining sponsorship spot at the 2021 event, please contact Ross.Parsons@BWCS.com .
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The 2021 conference (www.Traincomms.com ) is sponsored by Icomera, Xentrans, Fluidmesh and RADWIN.