Thursday, November 08, 2007

Broadband Internet access for high-speed trains

To follow-up from one of my earlier posts on Internet access for trains from Wednesday, October 10, 2007 where I discussed access for 2008, I now post some further developments.

A UK high-tech company that specialises in broadband Internet access on board high speed trains is to deliver the first ever true broadband Internet access to passengers travelling between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne.

21Net, as part of a consortium lead by Nokia Siemens Networks, will combine satellite, mobile phone technologies (GPRS and UMTS) with wireless networks similar to Wi-Fi Hotspots to provide a continuous Internet connection on board trains travelling at the speed of 300 km/h. The service is expected to be in full operation by 2008. According to a press release:

Next generation: jet-fighter technology enabling to equip any high speed trains

The 21Net system combines low-profile tracking antennas on the train with two-way “Ku-band” satellite transmission to deliver high bandwidth (2Mbit/s by 512kbit/s) connectivity to a master server on the train.

This unique system puts 21Net in an entirely different class to existing competitor systems, which rely on narrowband (56kbit/s) GPRS connections which are then shared between the simultaneous users on the train.

This high bandwidth can be shared by simultaneous users. On the train, WiFi (wireless LAN) connections are used between the master server and customers with WiFi enabled laptops and PDAs.


No comments: