Train passengers in Luxembourg will have to wait up to four years before on-board WiFi is fully available across the country, according to Transport Minister, François Bausch. The good news is that WiFi on trains is coming, the bad news is that it will take some time – despite the relative size of the country.
Currently, WiFi connectivity is being rolled out across all train stations in the Grand Duchy and this is expected to be virtually complete by the end of this year. However, extending this service to trains will take two to four years longer, Mr Bausch explained.
The upgrade of Luxembourg’s rail network has been the source of recent government focus and some controversy, with ministers announcing in March that over €300 million would be spent in 2021 alone. This sum includes 34 new trains from French manufacturing company Alstom, and an expansion of Luxembourg City’s central train station with two new platforms and four more tracks.
WiFi on Trains Conference Programme www.Traincomms.com
So far, around 55% - of all train stations currently boast free WiFi connectivity for passengers and this figure is set to rise to at least 95% by 1st January 2022.
The Minister insisted that the installation of free WFi on board trains “Will be put into operation progressively between 2023 and 2025”. Buses in Luxembourg have already achieved full rollout of WiFi on board.
Luxembourg had once been at the forefront of trailing WiFi services on board and it is not clear what has been responsible for the hold up in rolling it out nationally. In 2017, national train operator, Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois, announced it was testing WiFi on a number of its services. Some of its existing fleet were fitted with WiFi receivers and 4G repeaters. The train company later said it had successfully tested the WiFi service for several months on its 270km of track, though no further progress was made.
The full programme for this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference (November 16th and 17th) is available now at www.Traincomms.com .
Track-to-train connectivity and the growing market for passenger WiFi and on-board entertainment will be the main subjects this year’s - in-person - WiFi on Trains Conference.
The 2021 conference (www.Traincomms.com ) is sponsored by Icomera, Nomad Digital, RADWIN, BAI Communications, Westermo and GlobalReach Technology.
For Wireless Suppliers who may be interested … BWCS is holding the second Wireless Networks in Ports Conference in person, in London, next month – please see www.PortComms2021.com for more details.