East Coast is working with connected vehicle solutions provider Icomera to deliver a £2.2 million upgrade of its on-train Wi-Fi, promising a faster and more reliable “click and go” connection.
The first two trains to be upgraded are now in service, and more will receive the new equipment soon with three trains upgraded each week until the whole East Coast fleet is completed this summer.
East Coast Commercial and Customer Service Director Peter Williams said: “Our customers tell us that a reliable Wi-Fi connection during the journey is one of the key reasons why they choose the train instead of driving or flying.
“Demand from passengers has been rising rapidly, partly because of the huge rise in the number of Wi-Fi capable devices owned by our customers, including smartphones, tablets and e-readers.
“Our system has to keep pace with this demand, and the investment we are making now is upgrading the consistency of the service, by replacing on-train servers, access points and switching equipment which together deliver Wi-Fi in every carriage.
“We want our passengers to feel at home whenever they travel with us. A key part of that is staying connected throughout the journey that’s why we’re installing new equipment now to deliver a more reliable and faster connection in years to come.”
As well as providing an always-on Wi-Fi Internet service for customers, East Coast uses its wireless connection to support business critical systems, such as on-board catering, retail and ticketing.
The Wi-Fi system also supports East Coast’s award-winning “Falcon” web-based on-train remote control monitoring system, which provides information on each locomotive’s condition and gives advance warning of train component failures ahead of actual faults occurring, thereby improving performance and leading to more reliable services for passengers.