Our Technology

Track to train

Rail-5G will dramatically improve connectivity on trains. The technology allows passengers, and train systems, to have constant, uninterrupted and consistent internet of 10 to 50 times the average speed of today’s mobile connection. This is only possible given rail-5G’s tailored development, specifically designed for the railways, to provide over a gigabit of internet broadband to the on-train Wi-Fi, meaning customers are always connected through tunnels and deep cuttings, at high speed across all landscapes.

Rail-5G makes best use of the train operator’s existing customer Wi-Fi investments or can offer this as a packaged Wi-Fi solution. This will supercharge the existing 20-50Mb/s of mobile bandwidth with guaranteed 100% coverage and an average of over 1Gb/s of symmetric internet throughout. This high-speed connectivity can not only power on board Wi-Fi but any data service too. This allows for real time access to high-band services required by train operators such as 8K HD video/CCTV, LIDAR devices to help improve safety and efficiency of the railways, live condition monitoring, plus 10 Gb/s of station and trackside access that could be extended to local communities.

On Train

On train Image

Rail-5G makes best use of the train operator’s existing customer Wi-Fi investments or can offer this as a packaged Wi-Fi solution. This will supercharge the existing 10-20Mbps of mobile bandwidth with potentially over 1Gbps of symmetric throughout. This high speed connection can not only power on board WiFi but any data service allowing for relatime access to highbandwith services used by train operators such as 8K video or even LIDAR devices to help improve safety and efficiency of the railway.

Working with the rail industry the rail-5G solution has been developed to be safe, rapidly deployable and simple to maintain.

On Track

The connectivity between poles is provided by a dedicated fibre that can be laid along the trackside in existing or new troughing.

Unlike a Mobile Network Operator’s architecture, the evo-rail solution is designed to be utilised by the rail operator, to be integrated as required and exploited for services, be that edge computing or the provision of station Wi-Fi. The trackside WAN essentially enables the digital transformation of stations, communities and trackside services.

On Track Image


In the deployment of rail-5G, trackside infrastructure will be installed by evo-rail. We do this with the local infrastructure owner and qualified local contractor. But we have learnt new and safer techniques to reduce the cost and speed of delivery. One such innovation is evo-rail’s patented Stanchion Mounted Pole (SMP). The SMP is a super lightweight non-conductive plastic composite we can simply attach to a stanchion. This removes more than half of the survey effort and almost 95% of the installation effort. As a result, this enhances safety whist removing 30% of the overall cost of deployment with unmatched speed that makes best use of existing railway assets. Rail-5G is not just about an advanced Radio Access Network (RAN), a trackside network, on-train integration and safety solutions, but is also focussed on delivering an end-to-end customer experience and digital transformation that drives a ‘step change’ in customer satisfaction – all based on making best reuse of existing rail investments.

The equipment

Already deployed in Spain, the SMP consists of four main elements:

intro-check A lower mounting bracket to hold the pole. This ensures that when mounting the pole, it is always guaranteed to be in a ‘position of safety’ allowing installation whilst the catenary system is live. This bracket is also hinged, enabling the pole to be lowered easily for safe and simple alignment and maintenance. Super safe and cost effective.
intro-check Upper bracket, which holds the pole in place when raised to its vertical position, providing additional security and stiffness.
intro-check The pole which cantilevers up and down to place the antenna in its perfect position for maximum range.
intro-check Antenna stand-off bracket which is fit to the pole and holds the antenna in a position of safety away from all conductive surfaces of the catenary system. This antenna can then deliver an average of over 1Gb/s wireless connection to the train at ranges at up to 1.2km from the train or approximately 2.5km between SMP’s.
Pole Image


The journey to rail-5G is one that has been almost a decade in the making. Back in 2012, years before the standards for 5G were fully finalised, FirstGroup were already exploring how to improve connectivity of trains working with the University of Bristol. It was the University’s recommendation to use millimeter Wave (mmWave) technology to provide enhanced ultrawideband track-to-train communication.

mmWave uses spectrum that resides between 67GHz and 71GHz frequency band as opposed to low bands used by some mobile operators for 4G that resides at around 800MHz, with most typical mobile 5G deployments being around 3.5GHz. The benefit of mmWave is the size of the available channels in which to transmit and receive data. A typical mobile operator may have a 100MHz bandwidth to deliver their 5G service at 3.5GHz. Where mmWave services can provide over 1GHz of bandwidth to deliver wireless data services, this enable the mmWave to deliver extremely high bandwidth services. Combining this huge bandwidth with ‘beamforming’ allows the transit and received beams to focus all the available power on each other. This means we can reach ranges that mobile operators can only dream of, whilst reducing any wasted power outside the railway corridor to almost zero. At such low power, we can also power rail-5G by solar for a ‘net zero’ solution.