The Department for Transport mulls options for delivering mobile coverage to trains.
Unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, are one option being considered by the UK government to improve mobile connectivity on UK trains.
The consultation, launched this week, aims to tackle problems faced by UK rail passengers in connecting to mobile networks.
Other proposed options included roof-top antennae to aggregate mobile network data signals and rebroadcast them as wi-fi within the train. The report also suggests on-board repeaters to amplify external mobile signals, Femto cells, which act as mobile base stations, and passive repeaters, which are high-gain external antennae.
Ofcom had identified a series of reasons for the poor connectivity on trains, including the lack of a commercial imperative for mobile operators. In addition, Ofcom identified technical problems including physical barriers to signals.
Drones, which could fly alongside trains to deliver "targeted connectivity" were considered among other off-train technical options. Some of these would require action from mobile operators, who could either improve their infrastructure around the rail network or use Network Rail assets such as masts, facilities and telecommunications to provide coverage.
The document also suggests that a private network could be built alongside the rail network by an alternative service provider, or that satellite connectivity could be used.
"Dropped calls and intermittent access to the internet are frustrations felt by many rail passengers," commented a foreword to the report by Claire Perry Parliamentary Under Secretary at the Department of Transport and Ed Vaizey Minister of State for Culture and of State the Digital Economy.
They added: ""This call for evidence is instrumental to ensure we get the best possible deal for passengers and give them the mobile connectivity they want and need, both now and in the years to come.
"Through this call for evidence, we want to build on the work that has already happened across industry and reach a collective understanding of the remaining technical and commercial challenges and the potential solutions, making sure that any solution allows for the rapidly – changing technological landscape."