February 16, 2005
If you thought the train was a place where you could catch up on your reading without intrusions from the rest of the world and especially your boss, think again. T-Mobile UK just announced they gave WiFi access on trains. In fact, Redline Communications is announcing that its AN-50e broadband wireless platform is being deployed by UK-based Nomad Digital for this high-speed Internet project for Southern Trains. Nomad Digital is a company formed in 2002 that provides WiFi services and hotspot deployments while Southern Trains provides service throughout the UK.The pilot deployment features more than 30 Redline units installed on base stations at 3 km intervals along a 90 km corridor route between London and BrightonWith some links passing data to and from moving trains at 32 Mbps, this is the fastest data link to a train anywhere in the worldThe new Wi-Fi service is part of a new offering for T-Mobile HotSpot customersT-Mobile will offer a free trial of the high speed Internet service between early March and end of AprilDuring this trial period the service will initially be available on a limited number of Southern trains on the London to Brighton route. The service is planned for launch by early this summer, once the full roll-out has been implemented.
Here are the highlights of the announcement:
Perhaps the most interesting part of this announcement is that some links can pass data to and from the moving train at 32 Mbps, making this the fastest data link to a train anywhere in the world. So not only can you e-mail your boss and friends, you can stream a few channels, a movie and listen to streaming audio simultaneously. Now that is going from relative isolation to serous overload virtually overnight. Still, web junkies everywhere will stand in line to get a taste of wireless broadband, British style.