5G: An opportunity to revolutionise on-train connectivity

Simon Holmes, group head of digital (engineering) at FirstGroup, introduces us to the 5G solution being delivered for the rail sector. 

FirstGroup and its partners are excited to be close to delivering a viable 5G millimetre Wave (mmWave) solution to the global rail market; one that can offer connectivity which until now, seemed unattainable. Demand for fast and reliable wi-fi on public transport grows and the solutions to meet this challenge are only just emerging. Moreover, it has not been certain, until now, that upgrades in technology will provide the step-change in connectivity that passengers wish to see.

Along with Blu Wireless and industry partners like Network Rail, FirstGroup are working to harness the 5G mmWave spectrum to achieve capacity of over one gigabit per second throughput to and from highspeed trains. In layman’s terms, this means a connection so powerful it will enable HD video streaming as well as reliable access to the cloud-based applications many of our passengers use to work and play.