UK Railway Upgrading In-Train Wi-Fi Service
Published on: 2nd Mar 2014
UK train operator East Coast has begun a £2.2 million (USD3.7 million) upgrade of its on train Wi Fi to deliver a faster and more reliable connection.
The first two trains to be upgraded are now in service, and more will receive the new equipment soon - with three trains upgraded each week until the whole East Coast fleet is completed this summer.
In total, 44 of East Coast's trains will receive the upgrades, which are being supplied by Icomera.
The East Coast route was the first in the UK to offer Wi-Fi on a moving train ten years ago in 2003, when trials began using what was then groundbreaking technology.
On-train systems have been progressively improved since, but the extension of fibre optic broadband to millions of homes and the surging popularity of smartphones and tablet computers have raised customers' expectations from on-train wireless internet.
East Coast Commercial and Customer Service Director Peter Williams said: "Our system has to keep pace with this demand, and the investment we are making now is upgrading the consistency of the service, by replacing on-train servers, access points and switching equipment which together deliver Wi-Fi in every carriage."
As well as providing an always-on Wi-Fi internet service for customers, East Coast uses its wireless connection to support business critical systems, such as on-board catering, retail and ticketing.