The Government of Victoria in Australia is set to partner with mobile carriers Telstra, Optus and Vodafone to fix mobile blackspots across the five busiest rail corridors in the region.
The A$18m ($13.6m) rail connectivity project is expected to improve mobile coverage and connectivity for the passengers along the Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Traralgon and Seymour rail lines once complete.
An estimated 15.5 million passengers commute through these rail lines every year.
Victoria Minister for small business, innovation and trade Philip Dalidakis said: “This Australian-first project is a massive win for commuters on our five busiest regional rail corridors. No matter which network they use, they will see improvements.
“Regular commuters spend up to 20 hours per week on regional trains, and we need to keep them connected so they can keep in touch with their loved ones and use their travel time productively.”
The project will see the installation of in-train technology systems, which will boost the signal provided by mobile towers outside the rail carriage to devices being used inside.
Work has already started on certain VLocity trains through the installation of mobile reception repeaters designed to provide full network coverage to passengers' mobile devices.
These repeaters are set to be installed in all VLocity trains next year, should the pilot project prove successful. The in-train technology is currently used in more than 30 railways networks across Europe, including Switzerland, Germany and Italy.
The project is also anticipated to increase productivity for business commuters, generating an additional A$20m ($15.05m) annually for the economy of Victoria.