Free On-Train WiFi Is It?(12 Apr 2017, BWCS Staff)
Train passengers in South West Wales are logging on to a free WiFi service this week as a comprehensive upgrade programme came in ahead of schedule. Phase One of Arriva Train Wales’ WiFi operation, which was partly funded by a £2.5 million injection from the Department for Transport, has seen passenger internet facilities installed on 87 of the company’s 127 trains that crisscross the region.
According to local press reports, all of Arriva’s class 150, 158 and 175 trains have been upgraded to receive WiFi and passengers seem to be enjoying the experience. Work is due to begin soon on the second phase which will see the WiFi kit installed on the remaining 40 train sets. This is due to be completed by the end of September this year. In addition, the train operator says that the 50 busiest stations including Llanelli and Carmarthen will have WiFi available by that date.
The installation has been taking place at Arriva Train Wales’ Machynlleth and Canton train maintenance depots over the last few months in partnership with the supplier, Icomera.
The first phase of the operation, which was only announced at the beginning of this year, came as part of the national drive to improve on-train WiFi first announced by the then Prime Minister David Cameron, back in 2015. Speaking at the time of the ATW announcement in January of this year, Lynne Milligan, customer service director at the company, told the Rhyl, Prestatyn and Abergele Journal “This is definitely a positive step in the right direction towards responding to the needs of our customers and improving the overall customer experience of their journey.”
The expanding market for on-board WiFi services as well as the problems of intermittent mobile coverage, proposed trackside solutions and other issues will all be covered in this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference hosted by BWCS. For more information on next year’s event please see www.Traincomms2017.com or contact Ross.Parsons@BWCS.com .
This year's Train Communications System Conference is sponsored by Icomera (Gold), Nomad Digital (Silver), Fluidmesh (Bronze), 21Net (Cocktails), LetsJoin (Lunch Day 1) and RADWIN (Lunch Day 2).
BWCS is also in touch with a couple of luminaries of the WiFi on Trains world who are currently looking for new challenges, anyone interested in hearing more should contact us at info@BWCS.com