Behind the mast: all you need to know about rail-5G's trackside tech

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Lifting the lid on rail-5G technology

Designed by rail experts for the railways, our innovative track-to-train technology delivers reliable rail Wi-Fi connectivity 50 times faster than mobile.

Our trackside self-powering masts and antennas are a key part of our market-ready rail-5G solution. Read on to find out about the technology behind the masts, how they work and how they can benefit you.

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What is evo-rail’s self-powering mast?

The mast is a 5-metre-tall pole with a 5G antenna fixed to the top. They are located alongside the track at intervals determined by the geography and layout of the track, but usually around 1 to 2 km apart.

How does it work?

As the name suggests, the poles are self-powered through an integrated solar panel. Featuring smart technology, the poles and antenna ensure a direct line of sight and near-perfect coverage, providing Wi-Fi speeds of around 1Gb/s for every rail journey.

The use of dynamic beam forming technology, that focuses the radio connection between the pole and the train allow for both high data rates, high reliability, and a low power requirement. This results in a lower power, light weight and easy to deploy radio unit.

Fibre, which runs alongside the track, connects each of the poles together and also connects the trackside network. Through radio signals via pencil beams, the antenna transmits Wi-Fi connectivity to the front and back of the train. This continuous connectivity can supply a gigabit to every train, to multiple trains, on multiple tracks at the same time.

The self-powered pole is the first and only self-powered solution that enables rail operators to deliver over a gigabit per second to trains, without the need to deploy power trackside. Rail-5G technology is not only delivering what rail passengers need and want, when and where they want it, but is also reducing the impact on the environment.

What are the benefits?

Reliable (even in rural areas)

No power? No problem. Each pole is self-powered and uses renewable energy (from integrated solar panels. And, because there is no dependency on cabled power, our technology can be deployed at any location – installation is achievable, even in rural areas.

Our technology is sustainable, reliable and built to last, making it the perfect solution for trackside networks.

Cut carbon and costs

Our solar-powered pole comes with a few extra bonuses.

  • It helps you to reduce your carbon footprint and meet net-zero targets.
  • Plus, you can save money compared to cable use, especially with increased energy prices. It’s tricky to put a cost on peace of mind, but you’ll get that too.
  • Lastly, but importantly – delivering fast, reliable Wi-Fi on the railways is one of the ways to make rail travel more attractive, which is a vital step in helping to create a modal shift.

Read more about How rail 5G will supercharge sustainable rail transport.

Safe, and simple to maintain

Safety is a priority for our experts, which is why each pole is fully composite and features composite brackets to make it non-conductive.

Maintenance is made safe and simple, too, through a pivot feature at the bottom of the mast. Each pole can be safely lowered for antenna maintenance and the maintenance of the integrated solar panels, rather than working at height.

Fast and flexible installation

Transforming your railway Wi-Fi may take less time than you might think.

The poles are easy to install, and our team of experts are efficient in their track designs and deployment.

If you already have an existing trackside fibre connection our poles can be coupled with or meshed with adjacent access points. This is the fastest, most reliable way to provide extend your rail Wi-Fi coverage.

Ready to find out more about rail-5G?

Read more about our technology

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