The Government of UK is set to conduct 5G connectivity trials on the Trans Pennine Railway route between Leeds and Manchester in a bid to improve internet connectivity of railways.

The government has issued expressions of interest seeking applications from companies willing to take part in the new 5G project.

A part of the government’s plan to explore the usage of 5G connectivity in the transport sector, the Trans Pennine Initiative (TPI) will test different ways to offer high-quality internet connectivity to trains.

“The importance of fast, reliable and uninterrupted connectivity on our rail network is only going to increase.”

The overall TPI programme will evaluate the implementation of trackside infrastructure, as well as associated processes and costs to offer the 5G connectivity.

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.”

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Companies interested in the trials need to contact the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

In the trials, the participating companies will be allowed to deploy their trial radio equipment on the TPI pilot route without investing in trackside infrastructure, exhibit the feasibility of their products in a live environment and utilise the new 5G facility at Melton Mowbray.

They are also expected to receive financial support for all installations associated with the pilot project.

With Network Rail as the delivery partner, the TPI initiative is a collaborative effort between the Local Full Fibre Networks (LFFN) and 5G Testbeds and Trials (5GTT) Programmes.

The initiative is expected to support the government’s aim to offer uninterrupted mobile coverage and Wi-Fi services along the major rail routes.