Latest Rail News

04.06.20

LNER plans for better mobile connections

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has announced plans in collaboration with mobile phone operator O2 to boost network coverage along a 45-mile stretch of the East Coast route between Newcastle and Edinburgh.  

The improvement to mobile coverage will not only benefit customers travelling onboard train services through the North East but also the many communities where limited or no signal currently exists North Tyneside and Northumberland.

Planning permission for the first of up to 12 masts has been given the green light by Northumberland County Council with the final phase of the project seeing 5G available within Newcastle Central Station by summer 2021.

The location of the planned new masts follows years of widespread testing and preparation to find the optimum locations to provide 4G coverage and 5G ready. The project will follow strict guidelines to ensure Government health and safety advice is followed.

LNER’s new Azuma trains already offer the best WiFi yet on the route so this new development will offer a boost for those depending on voice and data usage when travelling at speeds over 100mph. The project will further improve the onboard WiFi experience and allow faster data streaming.

Managing Director of LNER, David Horne, said: “We know how vital our connections are between the great towns and cities of the LNER route. We also know how vital mobile connectivity is for our customers so we’re proud to be radically improving this for those who travel on our trains and also work and live along our route.”

Brendan O’Reilly, Chief Technology Officer of O2, said: “This is an important project for us as we seek to boost network coverage and capacity around the country. We’ve always looked to prioritise areas our customers need it the most, and upgrading busy transport hubs such as Newcastle Station will provide millions of customers with faster, more reliable network services.”

Nick Forbes, Leader of Newcastle City Council, said: “I welcome this announcement from LNER and O2 that will significantly increase connectivity around Newcastle Central Station.

“Newcastle is a modern, diverse city which has always been at the cutting edge of new technologies. We know having excellent, modern digital infrastructure is the best way to support our many businesses, residents and visitors to make the most of everything we have to offer.”

Image: London North Eastern Railway 

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