Ser­vice hits the track

Seymour Telegraph - - NEWS -

Train trav­ellers are of­ten left frus­trated by their mo­bile phones drop­ping in and out of ser­vice, but that is set to change.

Mo­bile blackspots along the Sey­mour-Mel­bourne train line will be a thing of the past, with sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ments to mo­bile cover­age and con­nec­tiv­ity for com­muters to come along the route, which sees more than 1.62 mil­lion pas­sen­ger trips a year.

Tel­stra, Op­tus and Voda­fone will work to­gether on the project in a ma­jor win for com­muters, mean­ing that cus­tomers on all three net­works will see im­proved mo­bile cover­age, rather than just one car­rier’s cus­tomer base.

Sey­mour pas­sen­gers will begin to ex­pe­ri­ence im­proved mo­bile cover­age to­wards the end of the year, par­tic­u­larly be­tween Craigieburn and Wal­lan and near Kil­more, with up to five new mo­bile tow­ers to be built in 2017 and 2018.

Work has al­ready be­gun to pi­lot the in­stal­la­tion of mo­bile re­cep­tion re­peaters in VLoc­ity trains, de­signed to boost in-train cover­age from less than 50 per cent to al­most full net­work cover­age.

If successful, the re­peaters will be rolled out on the en­tire VLoc­ity fleet in 2018.

In-train tech­nol­ogy is used in more than 30 rail net­works across Europe in­clud­ing Ger­many, Italy and Switzer­land to boost the mo­bile sig­nal from tow­ers in­side train car­riages.

‘‘I know how frus­trat­ing it is when you can’t get sig­nal from the train and you have work or home­work to do, want to send a mes­sage to a loved one or check the footy score. That’s why we’re get­ting this fixed,’’ Re­gional Devel­op­ment Min­is­ter Jaala Pul­ford said.

Mem­ber for North­ern Vic­to­ria Ja­clyn Symes said the con­nec­tiv­ity project would al­low re­gional com­muters to use their travel time more ef­fec­tively and ac­cess the same ser­vices that were af­forded to metropoli­tan com­muters.

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