Train operator East Coast has announced a £2.2m investment to upgrade its on-board WiFi services.
The news will be welcomed by remote workers and regular travellers, who should see a boost in performance when working on tablets, laptops and smartphones.
East Coast, which runs trains along the East Coast main line from King's Cross to Inverness, made the announcement the day after Network Rail announced plans to improve mobile phone coverage on the UK's railways.
The firm says it will be installing the "industry-leading" hardware on its 44 trains in order to make connections faster and more reliable from early 2014. The upgrade will rely upon Network Rail's trackside improvements, which are due to bring faster mobile broadband to 70 percent of the UK's rail passengers by 2019.
East Coast has operated WiFi services on its trains since 2003, with many other train operators throughout the UK following suit. East Coast commercial and customer service director Peter Williams said many of the firm's customers choose rail travel over car or air transportation due to the availability of WiFi. "The investment we are making will upgrade the consistency of the service, by replacing on-train servers, access points and switching equipment which is used to deliver WiFi in every carriage," he said.
He added: "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 investing now to ensure our WiFi users can look forward to a reliable connection and faster connection speeds in years to come."
Public transport-based WiFi has been going through a boom in the UK of late, with the London Underground gradually rolling out WiFi to many of its most-used stations. Furthermore, the development of satellite-based internet technology is making the likelihood of better internet access on planes, trains and ships a more realistic possibility.
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