The Government Wants to Trial 5G on Train Routes Between Manchester and Leeds

By Tom Pritchard on at

With the launch of 5G services sort-of imminent, there's a lot of work being done testing and trialling 5G services in various part of the country. Even if most of those locations seem to be in or near London. Now, though, the government has decided it wants to have a 5G trial on trans-Pennine train routes between Manchester and Leeds, and is looking for someone to get involved.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport is calling for "expressions of interest" from companies willing to take part in the £35 million trial. It's part of the the Trans Pennine Initiative, and designed to explore what 5G connectivity could bring to the transport sector. Announced last year the TPI is all about "providing high quality passenger connectivity using trackside infrastructure." That means looking at all the issues regarding access, cost, and the like, with the intention of making sure mainline train routes come with consistent and mobile signal by 2025.

According to the DCMS companies that are selected to take part will be able to deploy their equipment along the trial route without having to invest in the trackside infrastructure, along with some financial support with the installation. On top of that the government is promising they can make use of a 5G facility in Melton Mowbray to test their new technology, as well as the opportunity to test products with a diverse groups of people travelling along the route.

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.

Responses should be sent to: 5genquiries@culture.gov.uk. [Gov.uk via ISPreview]

Image: El Pollock/Geograph.org.uk via Wikimedia Commons