Government Scraps Trans Pennine 5G
The UK Government scraps plans to construct passive infrastructure along the Trans Pennine route.
22:14 04 February 2019
The UK government has abandoned plans to trial 5G-based mobile and fixed line fibre technology on the Trans Pennine rail route, it has been confirmed.
The £35million scheme, which was supported by the Department for Culture, Media and Science (DCMS), aimed to bring uninterrupted WiFi and 5G broadband speeds to all UK mainline train routes by 2025.
In a statement, DCMS said: “The Call for Input (20 August 2018) sought feedback on, and interest in, testing passive infrastructure, including masts, along the Trans Pennine route, to enable radio trials of high quality passenger connectivity on trains.
“Although there was interest in the concept of the trial, the market was not prepared to participate on the basis of the available funding (covering equipment provision only) and that following the trial a supplier could be required to remove their equipment.
“In parallel, it has become clear, following the completion of a detailed site survey and planning work by Network Rail along the route, that the construction costs and complexity of the radio infrastructure required along the Trans Pennine route are significantly greater than expected.
“The timetable for delivery of the radio trial would also be significantly impacted by these factors. Having assessed alternative options, DCMS has concluded that there are no credible means to deliver the planned passenger trials to a suitable standard within the available budget and within a reasonable timeframe to inform wider policy development.
“As a result of these factors and the results of the CFI, DCMS has taken the decision not to pursue the planned build of radio infrastructure along the Trans Pennine route.
“Apparently, the costs for this specific aspect were more than double (around £25m) what had actually been allocated and the deployment would have taken up to four years to complete. Suffice to say there was a legitimate concern that this effort might not deliver value for money