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Last Updated: Wednesday, 7 April, 2004, 10:29 GMT 11:29 UK
Let the train take the net strain
Train passing field of flowers
No need to while away journeys looking out the window
Train passengers fed up with staring at the scenery will soon be able to log on to the internet as wi-fi comes aboard.

GNER (Great North Eastern Railway is to equip 10 trains with high-speed net access.

The company is hoping it will increase the appeal of train travel.

"We are confident that the new service will encourage more people to take the train instead of driving or flying," said GNER's chief executive Christopher Garnett.

Obstacles on the track

GNER, which operates between London Kings Cross, the East Midlands, Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland, is working with wireless internet firm Icomera to offer uninterrupted wi-fi coverage across its routes.

Satellite dishes on the trains will connect to a variety of networks along the route, including digital TV connections and mobile base stations.

The speed of connection will vary depending on the obstacles along the train track.

When a train enters a tunnel, multiple mobile phone connections are accessed to prevent the service dropping off.

The first ten trains will be able to offer the service by the end of the year.

It will be free to First Class passengers and cost other users 4.95 per hour.

Net on the move

The rail firm will equip all of its new rolling stock with wi-fi eventually.

The new trains will also have power sockets so that passengers can plug in their laptop computers.

Other train firms are likely to follow suit as operators see the value to offering customers net access on the move.

Virgin Trains has already put hotspots in its First Class lounges and plans to extend wi-fi to trains.

According to telecoms analysts BWCS, 625 million people worldwide will be travelling on wi-fi enabled trains within the next five years.


SEE ALSO:
Wireless internet for bookworms
27 Mar 04  |  Technology
Wireless internet stumbles ahead
19 Mar 04  |  Technology
Wi-fi networks step up security
29 Jan 04  |  Technology
Wireless web reaches out in 2004
05 Jan 04  |  Technology
Broadband arrival for GNER trains
02 Dec 03  |  Technology


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