HUBER+SUHNER and McLaren Applied launch the first 5G edge computing rail antenna

Now enabling 5G applications to run on trains, the HUBER+SUHNER SENCITY® Rail ACTIVE Rooftop antenna is the first rail antenna of its kind to contain an integrated radio and compute module to deliver higher data throughput to support 5G services. It is an all-in-one active antenna with a single ethernet cable input for power and data transmission. Travelers will be able to benefit from better Wi-Fi connectivity, while system integrators will also be able to benefit from more advanced hardware to deploy their applications.

To meet modern communication requirements, the infrastructure must offer high data throughput rates. 4×4 Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) systems have the potential to meet this data demand using 5G and later versions of 4G technologies. However, it involves a lot of radio frequency (RF) cables that take up space, are expensive and complex to install, and result in performance losses over time.



The new SENCITY Rail ACTIVE roof antenna from HUBER+SUHNER and McLaren Applied solves this problem by integrating the radio and computing module into the antenna itself. The antenna is available from HUBER+SUHNER without application software (hardware only) and can be upgraded with McLaren Applied edge computing software such as Fleet Connect.

“It is the first product of its kind and is bringing rail communications systems into the 21st century,” said Daniel Montagnese, Head of Antenna Product Management at HUBER+SUHNER. “With 5G, even more cables will be required for connectivity, so this antenna is setting the industry up for years of cost savings, environmental impact, and installation efforts. As mmWave connectivity arrives in Europe, antennas will need to be equipped with radios to support this type of connection.”

The RF cables that connect the passive antennas to the radios are fragile and can be damaged by a small amount of bending or physical strain. If damage occurs, the entire connection path can be lost, resulting in significant downtime. By modernizing their system architecture and combining the radio and antenna in a single housing, HUBER+SUHNER and McLaren Applied have eliminated this risk.

The weight saved by replacing multiple RF cables with one Ethernet cable will significantly reduce fuel consumption. Traditional radios also use heavy metals for cooling, which is no longer necessary.

“Without the need for multiple RF cables, 5G deployment is streamlined and train operators and rolling stock providers can benefit from capital savings of up to 33 percent, as well as increased space within the car. . Tests have shown that there is a significant increase in throughput and coverage due to improved signal quality. The antenna also enables the deployment of state-of-the-art IT applications in public transport fleets, such as McLaren Applied’s Fleet Connect. It brings connected trains one step closer to connected cars,” said Pablo Garcia, Head of Transport at McLaren Applied.

Operators now want to monitor vehicle metrics in real time, as well as factors on the road such as overloading, vegetation and safety; this trend will accelerate with the adoption of commercial 5G on the railway in the coming years. The active antenna provides the platform that can host a variety of applications to achieve this, eliminating the need for additional computers on the train and offering further space and weight savings.

Globally certified to EN 50155, EN 45545-2 and NFPA-130 railway standards, operators are assured that HUBER+SUHNER connectivity infrastructure can be deployed anywhere in the world.

For more information on the HUBER+SUHNER SENCITY Rail ACTIVE roof antenna, please visit:

For more information on McLaren applied to transport, visit

This press release can also be found at

The video of the SENCITY® Rail ACTIVE roof antenna can also be found at:

The globally active Swiss company HUBER+SUHNER develops and produces components and system solutions for electrical and optical connectivity. The company serves the three main markets Industry, Communications and Transportation with applications of the three technologies of radiofrequency, fiber optics and low frequency. HUBER+SUHNER products stand out for their excellent performance, quality, reliability and long service life, even under the most demanding conditions. Through a global production network, combined with subsidiaries and representatives in more than 80 countries, the company is close to its customers all over the world.

About McLaren Applied:
McLaren Applied’s vision is to pioneer a better future through the unique application of data science, design and engineering. It builds on a 30-year heritage of motorsport-derived electronics and data systems expertise to move into new sectors, including automotive, public transportation and more. McLaren Applied offers performance advances in electrification, telemetry, control and analytics. The focus is on electronic systems, electrical transmission, telemetry, software, sensor technology and predictive analytics. Learn more at

Media contacts:
Proactive international public relations
+44 1636 704888

For McLaren Applied
Robert Hickling
+44 (0)20 8971 6427

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.