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Understanding Service Experience Across Rail Routes

27th April 2021

As of the 12th of April, the British Rail network is set to see streams of commuters flow back through its turnstiles as self-catering holidays, hairdresser appointments, pubs, bars and non-essential shops are all permitted to reopen. The past year has understandably seen a huge drop in passenger journeys with a decrease of 400 million commuters reported in Q1 of 2021 compared to the same time period in 2019-2020. With more people starting to head back to their offices, as well as explore domestic travel opportunities amid continuing concerns about international holidays, it’s an ideal time to understand how well the rail network is served.

“It is just not good enough that passenger’s mobile connectivity experience is still poor, blighting our efforts to work, shop and communicate on everyday journeys. By harnessing innovation and updating existing infrastructure, we can build the railway of tomorrow and find affordable solutions to improve travel for passengers. I urge telecom operators to match our ambition.” - Grant Shapps: UK Secretary of State for Transport.

42 per cent of commuters before the pandemic reported the internet as an ‘essential’ part of their commute. Yet the current rate of progression on rail connectivity appears to be insufficient for these needs. It is imperative operators match transport committee ambitions to ensure that key mobile services – such as voice calls and 4G data – will be reliably available across the UK’s rail routes. Moving forwards, governmental and regulatory bodies will be increasingly calling on operators to provide “uninterrupted coverage of all major terrestrial paths and railways” seen recently in publications such as the EU’s strategic objectives for 2025.

Metricell’s capabilities have been leveraged extensively for rail connectivity analysis in the UK, Italy and Russia for use cases such as: benchmarking service provided by operators across train routes and large scale network testing to build a nationwide view of service for key commuter lines. Using our SmartNetwork interface it is possible to accurately map captured data points across tested routes even in locations such as tunnels where a loss of signal is possible.

Our capabilities for improving connectivity on train lines are contributing towards wider connectivity goals in the UK and around the world. We have collaborated with leading national operators to test popular routes across rail networks. We can provide operators with detailed insight into call and data performance along crucial commuter lines as well as the associated reporting to highlight areas and optimisation opportunities which can help them to improve service experience.

For more information, request a copy of our new Rail Route Analysis Brochure today or search our site for Test and Measurement Solutions.