Train WiFi back haul
free Wi-fi should be available on 100 per cent of trains by 2020
Getting wifi on a train is a piece of cake, there's plenty of power on a train and it's a small area after all, two access points per carriage will cover it nicely.
Oh? You want to get data from the train to the rest of the world? Now that is an expensive problem. There's loads of expensive solutions of course: The track is a great place to lay fibre along side (ish) and you could then put up towers with radio transmitters - (frequency and power chosen to cover the gap between poles nicely at a good future proof data rate) then have receivers on the train. You wouldn't even be the first to do it - it's been done on Moscow metro apparently. Now imagine the expense of doing that for an entire national network. Now times it by five because railway companies can make *anything* expensive. Now consider how sodding expensive tickets are at the minute and you'll see why that won't be happening. There are people (Italians IRCC) trying to make the cheaper by using existing towers (for GSM-R) and using WiFi custom antennae to make the signal directional along the line and high gain, that's cheaper and I'd be interested to see how it turns out.
The only solution I've seen that looks affordable suffers from not really offering people what they want: a caching server on the train and an app you have to run on your phone \ laptop to receive the content they provide. Some news and entertainment, railway related info (delays, connections etc) and the option of selling people films or music from a server on the train. Even coupled with the single 4G connection which goes up and down like Cameron on a pig farm that's not much use for those wishing to work \ read the register \ rad Reddit.