Published on: Tuesday, 23 February 2021
Last updated: Tuesday, 23 February 2021
Greater Anglia has worked with mobile phone network, EE, to improve 4G coverage on the rail network in East Anglia.
The train operator commissioned the installation of new mobile phone masts at points along the railway where the signal has previously been weak to improve the functionality of the on train WiFi and on-board systems that require a 4G signal.
In total, 35 masts will be erected with one in Cambridgeshire, nine in Essex, eight in Norfolk, six in London and 11 in Suffolk.
The project has seen 24 of them installed so far with work continuing this year to complete the project.
Clinton Smith, Greater Anglia’s Head of Information Technology Projects, said, "This important project will enable us to ensure we have reliable 4G coverage across as much of the rail network as possible.
"It means our train systems can operate smoothly and reliably as they will maintain a good signal and passengers can benefit from un-interrupted free WiFi and mobile phone coverage when travelling with us.
"It also offers the added benefit of improving mobile coverage for communities in the vicinity of the masts and for the emergency services in rural areas."
Jon Pollock, Director of BT’s Enterprise unit, South and Wales, said: "Having access to a reliable and resilient mobile network – both for the public and our emergency services – is our top priority.
"The installation of 35 new EE 4G mobile sites along the East Anglia rail network ensures that users can continue to enjoy strong mobile coverage via the largest and most reliable 4G network in the UK. It also provides reassurance that the emergency services and first responders can stay connected in even the most remote areas."
EE runs the UK’s biggest and fastest mobile network, offering 4G connections in more places than any other operator. EE brought the first 4G network to the UK in October 2012, and for the 15th consecutive time, has taken the top spot for overall performance in independent testing by RootMetrics. As part of EE’s Emergency Services Network partnership with the Home Office, EE’s 4G network is used to support the critical work of the emergency services.
Greater Anglia offers free on-board WiFi to help commuters enjoy more productive travel time and reduce personal data charges.
Last year, Greater Anglia also increased the bandwidth on its new Stadler trains to ensure customers could enjoy fast browsing speeds when using the free WiFi, even if many passengers were logged on at once.
The new Stadler trains operate on regional routes in Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and Essex, the Norwich – London mainline and Stansted Express services.