British government invites applications for Trans Pennine Railway 5G project

22 Aug 2018

Companies interested in taking part in a new 5G project on the Trans Pennine Railway line between Leeds and Manchester have been invited to contact the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). In a press release regarding the matter, the DCMS said that the Trans Pennine Initiative (TPI) aims to test ways of providing high quality passenger connectivity onboard trains, using trackside infrastructure. The initiative also targets addressing issues related to access, processes and costs, and is designed to help the state realise its ambition of ensuring main line rail routes have uninterrupted mobile coverage and guaranteed Wi-Fi – something that has been described as ‘a fundamental part of the government’s exploration of what 5G connectivity could bring to the transport sector’.

According to the DCMS, those companies selected to take part in the trial are expected to be given the opportunity to: deploy their trial radio equipment on the TPI pilot route without the need to invest in trackside infrastructure; benefit from financial support for installation activities on the TPI pilot route; and make use of a new 5G facility at Melton Mowbray where technologies can be tested.

Commenting on the matter, 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.’