SouthRail operator reveals plans to improve WiFi and network coverage

The new ScotRail operator Abellio, has revealed plans to improve WiFi and network coverage for all its trains by the end of 2018. The Scottish government has provided the ScotRail network with an investment of over £4.4 million to install Wifi across the rail network. But commuters journeying on main routes, such as the Glasgow – Edinburgh line, complain of loss of signal regularly. The Dutch rail firm operating ScvotRail, now wants to fix this by upgrading the service.

The major advances in communication technology in recent times can however offer better solutions for ScotRail. The Heathrow Express made a world-first in 2007, when it provided its trains that travel underground, with 4G wireless broadband. To offer passengers continuous connectivity, the trains were fitted with black-box antennae that homed-in on signals from wireless base-stations placed along the track, instead of telephone masts. This type of connectivity is being planned for the whole of London Underground by 2020.

The system was developed by T-Mobile with Nomad Digital. Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS) the parent company of Abellio hired the same Nomad digital, based in Newcastle, to install in Holland wireless internet on its entire intercity fleet. On the other , a nation-wide roll-out of WiFi has been stalled, owing to disagreement between Network Rail, train operators and other industry stakeholders, over the choice of the private sector supplier, last year.

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