Ultra-fast in-vehicle navigation thanks to 5G Wi-Fi on SWR services

The first set of rail-5G poles are being installed on more than 70 kilometers of railway line between Basingstoke and Earlsfield, as part of the evo-rail and South West Railwayin partnership with Railway network.

The project will see super-fast in-vehicle Wi-Fi rolled out on SWR trains between Basingstoke and Earlsfield and is a first for the UK mainland.

Christian Neill, Director of Customer Experience for South Western Railway, said: “South Western Railway is committed to delivering a modern customer experience in the digital age and rolling out a new super-fast internet, at 50 times the current average speed. , is an integral part of our plan to do so.

“Following a successful pilot on the Isle of Wight Island Line, we are delighted to offer our customers this industry-leading internet connectivity standard, which will deliver lightning-fast and reliable Wi-Fi over 70 km of railway line between Basingstoke and Earlsfield.”

It will be the first mainland UK rail line to deploy industry-leading rail-5G technology for customer use. With more than 100 trains already equipped to accommodate the solution, the technology will cover 70 kilometers of the SWR network.

Evo-rail, a telecommunications company part of FirstGroup, has developed rail-5G as the first multi-gigabit internet solution designed for railways, with the technology enabling the delivery of ultra-fast continuous internet.

Simon Holmes, Managing Director of evo-rail, said: “Improving services for passengers through ultra-fast and reliable connectivity – in particular on-board Wi-Fi services – will be the keystone for rail becomes the mode of transport of choice.

“Our solution can dramatically improve passenger train connectivity and the technology enables passengers to have constant, uninterrupted and consistent internet 50 times faster than the average speed of today’s mobile connection.

“We are delighted with this important milestone in our project with South Western Railway and Network Rail and look forward to bringing the solution to customers traveling between Earlsfield and Basingstoke. »

With rail-5G, passengers will be able to enjoy unprecedented levels of connectivity similar to what they are used to at home or in the office, allowing them to stream videos, make video calls, download large files, And much more.

The solution has been piloted on a large scale on SWR’s Island line on the Isle of Wight. The successful trial proved that the rail-5G solution can consistently deliver one gigabit per second (Gbps) throughput to a moving train, so now the technology is being rolled out to other parts of the SWR network.

Rail-5G was developed and designed as a specialized solution for railways. As well as exceeding all standards and regulations set in Europe and the UK for trackside and in-train installations, it has been designed to be quick to install, durable and provide a return on investment for train operators.

The solution provides near-perfect and consistent coverage, creating opportunities for operators to market surpluses and providing rail customers with unparalleled levels of connectivity.

The technology uses poles and antennas to create a radio network, accessible to both operational train systems and onboard customers.

The full rollout is expected to complete and launch for customers in early 2023. Once fully operational, customers will have rail-5G access and can enjoy super-fast and reliable onboard Wi-Fi throughout. of their journeys.

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