Japan Railways Group is set to provide free Wi-Fi services across its bullet train network by next year.
All 108 bullet train stations on the network will be equipped with Wi-Fi services by this year, while installation of Wi-Fi systems on most of the rolling stock will be completed by April 2020.
The move is part of Japan’s preparations to host the Summer Olympics, scheduled from 24 July to 9 August 2020 in Tokyo.
The plan also includes offering free Wi-Fi services to tourists travelling on the Tokyo Metro during the Olympics.
Additionally, the move is expected to help mitigate internet connectivity issues onboard and improve passenger experience.
Since last year, Japan Railways Group (JR Group) members West Japan Railway and Kyushu Railway have started offering free Wi-Fi on bullet trains. Around 30% of cars on Central Japan Railway, another company group member, provide free internet.
The three rail operators are scheduled to provide free Wi-Fi on all bullet trains by March 2020.
East Japan Railway, the largest company of the JR Group, also started deploying Wi-Fi systems from last year fiscal. It is due to be completed in fiscal 2020.
The passengers on the bullet train network, locally known as Shinkansen, can access the internet by registering themselves through email or their social network profile.
Since the commencement of services in 1964, the Shinkansen network has expanded from 515.4km to 2,764.6km across the country.