Mobile phone operator Orange claimed to have solved the problem of dropped mobile phone signals in railway tunnels by placing a standard antenna at tunnel entrances.
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The operator said it had carried out a test in a 850m tunnel on the UK's East Coast rail line in which calls and data connections were maintained, despite the train's speed or the type of device used.
The company will conduct three more trials in January and, provided the tests produce positive results, Orange will roll out the equipment in all primary UK rail routes over the next two years. The coverage will be extended on commercial routes between Manchester, Leeds, London and Bristol.
However, only Orange's 13.4 million UK customers stand to benefit.
Allen Oakman, head of network planning for Orange, said that tunnel projects are part of a larger effort to extend services on pubic transport. Orange is doing trials with a major English Channel ferry provider, with the aim of reaching agreements with other ferry providers next year. The company has also been looking into extending service to the London Underground.
Scarlet Pruitt writes for IDG News Service