Home Company News LNER partners with O2 to improve mobile coverage north of Newcastle

LNER partners with O2 to improve mobile coverage north of Newcastle

To boost mobile phone coverage along a 45-mile stretch of the East Coast route between Newcastle and Edinburgh, London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has announced plans to partner with mobile phone operator O2 that will not only benefit customers travelling onboard train services through the North East but also the many communities where limited or no signal currently exists in North Tyneside and Northumberland.

Northumberland County Council has granted planning permission for the first of up to 12 new masts, with the final phase of the project seeing 5G available within Newcastle Central Station by summer 2021.

This partnership between LNER and O2 will also boost coverage from the current network of masts along the pilot area thanks to enhancements to existing signal levels, bringing better connections for communities and customers of the LNER route.

David Horne, managing director of LNER, said: “We know how vital our connections are between the great towns and cities of the LNER route. We also know how vital mobile connectivity is for our customers so we’re proud to be radically improving this for those who travel on our trains and also work and live along our route.”

The location of the proposed new masts follows almost a year of extensive testing and planning to identify the optimum locations to provide 4G coverage and be 5G ready.

Brendan O’Reilly, Chief Technology Officer of O2, said: “This is an important project for us as we seek to boost network coverage and capacity around the country. We’ve always looked to prioritise areas our customers need it the most, and upgrading busy transport hubs such as Newcastle Station will provide millions of customers with faster, more reliable network services.”

This latest development will offer a boost for those relying on voice and data usage when and will further improve the onboard Wi-Fi experience and allow faster data streaming.

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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