NS Opts for 4G and Fair Use Policy in Bid to Boost WiFi Speed for All Passengers

The entire Dutch inter-city fleet will be equipped with 4G mobile internet connections by the end of this summer, claims public transport body OV Magazine, with the first inter-city trains with high-speed internet already operational. National train company, NS, has offered free on-board WiFi since 2010, but it has recently been bedevilled by customer complaints about speed of connections and even gaps in service.

Now, in a double-whammy aimed at promoting fairer and faster WiFi on its trains, NS is also implementing a fair usage policy to run alongside the new 4G links. "We will divide internet access among users so that no one steals the entire connection", company spokesman Eric Trinthamer told OV. Apparently speed per user will be limited to 150Kbps. The fair usage policy will come into effect in June.

Initially at least, the train company will stick with current mobile network supplier T-Mobile Netherlands as it bids to increase the connection speed. The installation of 4G equipment is due to begin soon and will be completed by the end of July. The trains will be connected via a 4G module that will seamlessly switch to stations’ Wi-Fi signal during stops.

The problems with offering WiFi services on board trains at speeds that customers find acceptable will be one of the main focuses of this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference – Train Communications Systems 2015 – www.traincomms2015.com – sponsored by Icomera, Nomad, 21Net, Fluidmesh, BA Infrastructure and Radwin.

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