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UK rail passengers could benefit from next-generation mobile broadband services during their train journeys, it has been suggested.

In a new report for Ofcom, consultancy Mott MacDonald said an obligation for rail corridor coverage could be included in 4G mobile broadband licences, reports ISPreview.co.uk.

Ofcom is set to auction off spare capacity in the 800MHz and 2.6GHz radio spectrum bands later this year, clearing the way for the launch of 4G services.

Mott MacDonald stated that the challenges of providing broadband coverage on the railway network can be overcome through cooperation between Network Rail and UK mobile operators.

"The first part of the technical solution to rail not-spots is ideally filling in mobile network coverage adjacent to rail tracks," the firm stated.

"The second part is installing active equipment on trains such as voice repeaters or gateways for mobile signal."

However, Mott MacDonald said key commercial challenges "will affect the ability to implement technical solutions".

And these will need to be overcome if train passengers are to gain reliable access to super-fast mobile broadband.

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