20 FEBRUARY 2017
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France’s national rail operator SNCF is pledging to make free wi-fi available to all passengers on its high-speed lines by the end of this year following a successful two-month trial on the Paris – Lyon service that ended last week.
The project, TGV Connect, was introduced on 15 December on the premium route to meet passenger demand. The company said: “Despite the technical challenges of offering wi-fi at speeds of 300km/hr, SNCF has succeeded.”
SNCF said demand for the service had persuaded it to invest in the necessary infrastructure and the service would be expanded gradually to other high-speed lines over the course of this year.
The company said it had been working with the French telecoms regulatory authority Arcep in preparation for a full roll-out of TGV Connect to enhance networks along its rail routes to ensure the system would be able to handle hundreds if users simultaneously.
The next high-speed routes to install TGV Connect will be those connecting Bordeaux, Lille, Strasbourg, Rennes and Marseilles. SNCF says it aims to have 300 trains equipped with the technology to provide wi-fi by the end of 2017, and ultimately wants to make wi-fi available to all passengers on all trains.
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