Israel’s trains to receive improved cellular reception, WiFi access


The Communications Ministry and Transportation Ministry are launching an experiment to examine possible ways to improve reception for passengers of Israel Railways. 

As part of the experiment, WiFi and cellular signal amplifiers will be activated onboard trains and technology will be installed near train car window slots. 

“Road transport infrastructures are integrated with communication infrastructures, essential for every person, everywhere and at any time, and in emergencies,” said Communications Minister Shlomo Karhi.

“Professional teams have worked hard on finding dedicated solutions and the time has come to test the recommendations in field trials. The most successful and best answer will be implanted as soon as possible. The work in the field of secondary communication infrastructures is a continuation of the joint work of the ministries in roads, tunnels, and more, and in Gaza, we will continue to succeed together.”

“The prophet Isaiah already understood the importance then, and we will apply it now: “Go through the gates. Turn the way of the people, pave the way, pave the way, pave the way of stone from the mountains (Aben Harim) Aben Harimun Nes.”

Israelis use the train transportation system after a long weekend on a very crowded Sunday, Karmiel and Beer Sheva stations, on May 28, 2023. (credit: MICHAEL GILADI/FLASH90)

“Training is essential in terms of safety and level of service. In order to drive a transition from private to public transportation, optimal conditions are allowed for optimal use of travel time. You can work, study and watch content, it is an integral part of the service and the customer experience. The experiment will be carried out the ideal solution,” said Transportation Minister Miri Regev. 

A tour was conducted on Wednesday at the Israel Railways complex in Lod, during which Shlomo Karhi and Miri Negev were shown three possible applications to increase cellular reception for train passengers. The applications were developed by teams from Israel Railways and the Communication Ministry. 

Collaborative experiments 

“Collaborations and joint work yield results,” said Maimon Shamila, the director-general of the Communications Ministry.

“I must mention the excellent work of the Transportation Ministry, with whom we are building and improving the road and rail infrastructures, as well as advanced communication infrastructures. We will do everything necessary for trains to be networked with cellphones and allow everyone to chat, surf and enjoy the journey from the road.”

“We work hand in hand with the communications and finance ministries to make the solutions practical. We will do thorough headquarters work to understand the challenges and we are examining the routes to reach the most effective solution,” said Moshe Ben Zakan, the Director General of the Transportation Ministry. 

The first experiment will be done by installing wireless internet receivers in Israel Railways train cars. This will include placing an antenna on the roof of the car as well as internal antennas in the car. The wireless internet receivers are meant to increase cellular reception within the train. 

The second experiment will see cellular signal amplifiers installed in the train cars along with two antennas on the roof of each car.

The third experiment will attempt to use technology near the train car windows to allow cell phone reception to be more easily received within the train cars.

Increasing cellular reception during train travel is a global challenge that is not unique to Israel. It is difficult for cellular signals to reach the interior of trains due to the metal that makes up the train cars.

The Communications and Transportations Ministries are hopeful that if these experiments are successful, it will be possible to provide train passengers with a stronger and more stable cellular signal.