Feeds

GNER to spend £1m on Wi-Fi trains

Locomotive Area Network

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Intelligent flash storage arrays

GNER rail company in the UK has partnered with mobile solutions firm Icomera to provide Wi-Fi on its trains running between Scotland and London.

Great North East Railway (GNER) is investing £1 million ($1.6 million) on rolling out broadband Internet access on its fleet of high-speed trains, which it hopes will up its appeal among travellers, particularly business travellers who are most likely to use laptops and PDAs. GNER already has a 40:60 ratio of business to leisure passengers and carries in the region of 15 million passengers each year.

"I think it will take off," said Sandra O'Boyle, senior analyst for Current Analysis. "The airline industry is going the same way. I'd love to see it in action." O'Boyle said that taking the train and using its Internet access may be more productive than flying, since no time is wasted waiting to board a train, as is the case with flights.

O'Boyle said that as young people start to use wireless devices for gaming, the popularity of Wi-Fi on trains should be boosted.

Icomera, the company providing the wireless connections, is based in Gottenburg, Sweden where it recently introduced Wi-Fi on Linx trains running between Gottenburg and Copenhagen. Roll-out on trains serving Oslo-Karlstad-Stockholm is scheduled for later this year.

Crucial to the success of Wi-Fi on high-speed trains is the delivery of a reliable wireless connection through a number of systems, according to Current Analysis. Icomera uses multiple GPRS, GSM and satellite links to deliver Internet access on trains going at speeds of up to 200km per hour. The company has also collaborated with train operators, manufacturers and regulators to ensure its solution meets industry standards

GNER has conducted trials to find out what the quality of the GSM network is like along the east coast rail route from London to Inverness, according to Current Analysis' report, which concluded that coverage was 98 per cent.

GNER hopes to introduce Wi-Fi on a three-month trial basis from mid-September on the route between London Kings Cross and Scotland, and subsequently roll it out across all its trains. The price for the service has not yet been released, but research from BWCS released in May found that most potential Wi-Fi users said they would be prepared to pay up to £5 for wireless access on a train journey. The company said that given current laptop take-up, the UK's train Wi-Fi market is worth about £6 million this year. According to BWCS estimates, this will rise to £47 million by 2007. The total European market could be worth nearly £400 million a year by 2007. ®

Copyright © 2000, ENN

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
YOU are the threat: True confessions of real-life sysadmins
Who will save the systems from the men and women who save the systems from you?
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
Ofcom snatches 700MHz off digital telly, hands it to mobile data providers
Hungry mobe'n'slab-waving Blighty swallows spectrum
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence
Download Choosing a Cloud Hosting Provider with Confidence to learn more about cloud computing - the new opportunities and new security challenges.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.