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This article was published on March 26, 2008

France: trains with Wifi connection on board

France: trains with Wifi connection on board
Ernst-Jan Pfauth
Story by

Ernst-Jan Pfauth

Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

When traveling through Europe, trains come in handy. It’s cheaper and sometimes faster than flying. Moreover, the train seats are more comfortable than the cramped up Easyjet chairs. You even got the space to open your laptop without having to sit with your elbows in your neck. So far, there’s only thing missing though: wireless Internet. Of course some people have this Vodafone satellite connection, but that’s just slow. No, we need a fast and reliable connection.

TGVWell, vive la France! The French are making my wireless Internet dream reality. Railway company SNCF announced today that the company is running tests with three trains from and to Switzerland, Germany and Luxembourg. It’s just six weeks before the first Internet-equipped train will leave the station.

The infrastructure of the wireless connection has been developed by Orange, Capgemini, Eutelsat and Alstom Transport and is suitable for every Train Grande Vitesse.

I think it’s a great way to lure travelers away from planes into trains. A lot of people will save time and money if they can keep working online during a trip. The only thing that might temper my enthusiasm is the price SNCF will charge for a Wifi key.