Passengers on Victoria’s five busiest regional rail lines will say goodbye to mobile blackspots this year with the rollout of the $18 million Regional Rail Connectivity Project.
Commuters who spend up to 20 hours each week in transit will have reliable connectivity to use their journey time on board productively and to stay in touch with family and friends.
Commuters on the Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Traralgon and Seymour rail lines – which account for more than 15.5 million passenger trips annually – will experience a boost in mobile connectivity following a successful Australian-first pilot of mobile signal repeaters.
The pilot program revealed that in-train technology, coupled with new towers, will take coverage from less than 50 per cent to almost to almost full network coverage on all five rail lines. On the back of this finding, work has begun on the construction of 35 mobile towers, which will be combined with cutting edge in-train technology to bring about the mobile coverage improvements.
Some trains are already being fitted with the technology and the entire VLocity fleet will have a booster on board by the end of the year, with passengers noticing a major increase in mobile signal strength on more and more trips.
These improvements are part of the $18 million Regional Rail Connectivity Project, a Victorian Government partnership with Telstra, Vodafone and Optus. Along with improving liveability in regional areas, the project will enhance productivity for regional business passengers, contributing an estimated $20 million annually into Victoria’s economy.
This project is part of the Victorian Government’s significant investment in improving digital connectivity in regional Victoria under its ‘Connecting Victoria’ program.
Find out more about digital connectivity for regional Victoria via the Connecting Victoria’ program site.