Virgin Trains prepare to introduce 4G WiFi across their fleet
There’s nothing worse than being halfway through sending an email on the train and your signal cutting out. To combat this, Virgin Trains will be bringing free super-fast 4G enabled WiFi services for all passengers on West Coast Main Line journeys next year.
The technology will improve the speed of onboard internet and enable passengers to stream video and shop online while they travel, as well as check emails and work from the train.
"We know WiFi is high on our customers’ priorities and we’re delighted that we’re going to be able to offer them free and super-fast WiFi." Patrick McCall, executive co-chairman of Virgin Trains said.
The train company will kit out all 76 of its Pendolino and Super Voyager trains with the ability to provide improved WiFi service for its customers.
Earlier this year, ministers promised that millions of pounds would be spent on faster WiFi for commuter trains across England and Wales. This announcement referred to upgrading the trains themselves to ensure that they pick up signals and distribute them quickly to carriages via an upgraded onboard WiFi system
This will enable passengers to use mobile broadband connections seamlessly while they travel and will offer speeds ten times better than currently available. Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “We all know how frustrating it can be to have our phone calls and internet use constantly disrupted by poor signal while travelling on trains. At the moment it happens too often. Passengers expect and deserve better and with these plans, that is what they’ll get.”
Network Rail is working towards a new system that it says that in future will mean commuters will be able to connect to the internet through equipment installed alongside the track, rather than the current system of having to find a satellite signal as they travel.
Passengers travelling on First Hull Trains services are already able to experience free super-fast WiFi since it launched this week. “The service is faster, more reliable and will give an improved experience for our passengers,” said Will Dunnett, managing director of First Hull Trains.