CFR Călători, the state-owned passenger train operator in Romania, has announced plans to trial free WiFi services on some of its InterCity trains. The company has partnered with Orange Business Services to offer passengers on 33 carriages free on-board access to the Internet. The service will apparently be available to subscribers of all four of Romania’s mobile networks.
Earlier this year the Romanian Authority for Railway Reform (ARF) signed a contract to purchase 20 long-distance electric trains, with an option to increase the order to 37 trains. The new trains, which will cost some euros 263 million, will all come fitted out for WiFi connectivity.
The new project will offer the train operator the opportunity to view the trains on the route in real time and to access to statistics on the degree of WiFi service usage. The implementation of the solution by Orange Business Services was carried out in conjunction with Arobs Transilvania Software.
It is not clear if, or when, the current trial may be extended to other services. In pre-pandemic times CFR Călători carried some 50 million passengers annually across all of its routes.
Track-side connectivity and on-board WiFi services will be the main subjects of BWCS’s WiFi on Trains Conference in 2023 (www.Traincomms.com ).