5g trains 1

Companies wanted for Trans Pennine Railway 5G project

The government has launched a search for companies who can provide guidance on how to bring 5G technology to the UK’s railways.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is launching a trial of 5G connectivity on the TransPennine Railway line between Leeds and Manchester, as part of the government’s Northern Powerhouse plans.

Now the government is looking to collaborate with companies who can provide support and information for The TransPennine Initiative, or TPI, relating to trackside infrastructure, including addressing issues related to access, processes and costs.

Companies selected to take part in the trial will be given the opportunity to deploy their trial radio equipment on the TPI pilot route without the need to invest in trackside infrastructure, while demonstrating the viability of their products in a live environment with a wide demographic of passengers, including business commuters, day trippers and long distance travellers.

Trial participants will also benefit from financial support for installation activities on the TPI pilot route, as well as access to a new 5G facility at Melton Mowbray where technologies can be tested.

It is hoped the project will provide a solution for the Government’s ambition of main line rail routes having uninterrupted mobile coverage and guaranteed Wi-Fi.

Minister for Digital, Margot James said: “The importance of fast, reliable and uninterrupted connectivity on our rail network is only going to increase. Projects like the Trans Pennine Initiative will be instrumental in delivering this for passengers, and are all part of our commitment to make the UK a world leader in 5G.”

The initiative is a joint effort between the Local Full Fibre Networks and 5G Testbeds and Trials Programmes, with Network Rail serving as delivery partner.

Companies interested in being involved in the trial should contact 5genquiries@culture.gov.uk by noon 14 September 2018.

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As much as I am a big fan of this, what the gov should do first is stop pushing back plans to renovate the line. People will see past the fact that they get good internet when they are provided travel conditions from the 70s. If they really believe it is the northern powerhouse, then connect the two giants properly. I wonder if they realise that a lot if why we are where we are today is due to people outside of london feeling disenfranchised and abandoned? No amount of netflix is going to hide a horribly dated connection between these two awesome cities.

sent from london


DH – I think a solid connection on this route could be more powerful than you think. Being able to work on the train might make people rethink that job or meeting over the Pennines if they can use their time productively. Agree, better infrastructure is needed, but it’s a start!


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