From 12 December, Trenitalia passengers on Turin-Milan-Rome-Naples Frecciarossa trains will be able to surf the internet and make phone calls problem-free following an agreement between Italian State Railways and Telecom Italia.
Frecciarossa high-speed trains will be offering internet connections for work and play, improved telephone reception including coverage within tunnels and, from next May, new entertainment and news services.
Passengers will be able to access the internet on the move from smartphones and USB modems connected to the 3G network, or via the train’s Wi-Fi system. During the first month, Wi-Fi internet connections will be offered free of charge.
Mauro Moretti, CEO of the FS Group, says: “We have upgraded on-train telephone services and offered ‘always online’ options to cater to the work and entertainment needs of our travellers and broaden the range of services available on board Frecciarossa trains. Travel times between Italy’s most important cities, which have already come right down since the high-speed train system began operating, will be reduced further still as high-speed travellers carry on working as if in the office, surf the internet, and stay in touch with their friends and colleagues over social networks. We have no doubt that these new connectivity services are yet another reason for an increasingly broad swathe of travellers to choose the train over other means of transport.”
Franco Bernabè, CEO of Telecom Italia, declares: “We are very pleased that Italian State Railways chose Telecom Italia for this high profile project, confirming our status as innovation leaders. For this particularly challenging project we deployed our expertise to tackle issues associated with the mountainous terrain, the high number of tunnels, and upgrading mobile network performance to cope with high speeds. Our aim is to offer our customers high-quality internet access wherever they are, at all times.
Starting in May 2011, an innovative web-based, Wi-Fi-accessible platform will deliver the Train Portal, offering news, film footage, music, travel and weather info, timetables and station information, video clips and video games. The platform leverages a Wi-Fi network and server farm installed on board trains.
For this challenging technological achievement, the entire High-Speed fleet has been equipped with next-generation IT and telecommunications systems, and the UMTS wireless structure was upgraded to extend coverage and boost network capacity.
Mobile 3G signal transmission was enhanced by installing 74 new nodes along the 1000 km or so of High-Speed line, including 82 tunnels. All 60 Frecciarossa trains have been equipped with UMTS wireless signal amplification technology systems, and Wi-Fi access points have been installed in every carriage.
All on-board installations and all tunnel coverage infrastructure are designed to repeat the signals of Italy’s other mobile operators. Other operators are currently working to boost their external mobile radio coverage along the High Speed railtrack. This work is expected to be completed from March 2011 onwards, after the necessary agreements have been completed.
Milan, 18 November 2010