Rail users should begin to notice improvements in mobile broadband coverage by 2015

High-speed mobile broadband for UK's railways

The rail industry is to roll out high-speed mobile broadband on the busiest parts of Britain's rail network.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said that under the plans, 70 per cent of the travelling public will benefit from the new technology by 2019, with passengers expected to begin noticing improvements to their journey during 2015.

Mobile signal on trains will be improved by a combination of an upgrade of Network Rail's (NR) existing infrastructure and the installation of equipment that alleviates the barriers to good signal on board a train.

McLoughlin said: "There are few things more frustrating than trying to phone a friend or access the internet, only to be thwarted by a bad signal. 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.

"Be it hardworking commuters preparing for the day on their journey into work or leisure travellers making final plans for their weekend away, today's announcement marks the beginning of the end of poor coverage on our railways."

Details regarding what technologies will be used to improve the existing mobile infrastructure and any new additions have yet to be revealed.

The programme will tackle a series of "not-spots" – areas along rail corridors with intermittent or poor coverage of mobile phone signals – delivering a consistent and reliable service for passengers on key routes.

NR and the rail industry will now work on a business case to outline how they will fund the improvements.

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