Belgium’s national press joined transport ministers and other VIPs gathered at Brussels Midi/Zuid railway station last Thursday to witness the launch of SNCB’s Passenger Wi-Fi pilot.
One of SNCB’s first class carriages has been equipped with Icomera Wi-Fi for the three month pilot which sees Icomera’s mobile Internet connectivity technology deployed along the Eupen-Ostend line. The route was specifically chosen because of its popularity with commuters and the range of rural and urban environments, not to mention tunnels, that it passes through.
Passengers travelling in these specially marked sections of the pilot vehicles will be able to try the service for free as SNCB looks to collect data and feedback before deciding on whether to proceed with a fleet-wide roll-out of passenger Wi-Fi.
During the press event, 20 journalists travelled on board the Icomera Wi-Fi equipped train, testing the connection on their own laptops, tablets and smartphones. While the train travelled along its route Icomera’s team demonstrated the high speed and reliability of the technology, streaming HD videos over the Internet as part of their presentation to the specially invited audience.
The demonstration will have pleased SNCB CEO Jo Cornu who earlier in the day had expressed his desire to make travel time “a time to be enjoyed” in order to attract new passengers.