UK-based Network Rail has chosen McLaren Applied for the provision of a 5G on-board connectivity solution for its infrastructure monitoring trains.

Under a five-year service contract, the company will deploy its patented F1-derived Fleet Connect software on the Active Antenna hardware.

Transport fleets around the world have already been installed with the patented Fleet Connect software, which provides seamless high-speed passenger WiFi connections and operator uplinks.

The data across the networks is split by the software in real time. Later, it is reassembled in the cloud as it travels to its destination.

This is said to help lower blackspots and deliver a consistent connectivity stream for any moving vehicle in any environment.

It is said that the first implementation of Active Antenna technology in the country will provide a new and simplified approach to on-train connectivity infrastructure.

All radio frequency cables and routers are replaced with a single ethernet connection that uses Huber+Suhner componentry with an edge compute module, modem and eSIM capability embedded within the antenna.

The combination of Fleet Connect software and Active Antenna hardware enables trains to continuously connect through various network providers, formats and strengths across the country.

McLaren Applied chief operating officer Samir Maha said: “The innovative solution proposed by McLaren Applied to secure this contract is the perfect illustration of how our work at the cutting-edge of motorsport can directly translate into game-changing solutions for transport. 

“By uniting our Formula One-derived Fleet Connect software and Active Antenna hardware, we have created a turn-key product that is much greater than the sum of its parts.

“We look forward to working with Network Rail to deliver fast, reliable connectivity for its hard-working fleet across Great Britain.”