Virgin Trains Get Connected With WiMax And HSDPA

Virgin Trains has elected to use WiMax to enable passengers get Internet connection from their seat. QinetiQ Rail is providing the technology and has installed it on the company’s Pendolino train. CEO Magnus McEwen-King expects the application of the WiMax-and-satellite combination to bring down costs. “If we were to use WiMax throughout the whole route – for the west coast mainline, that would be 1,500km – it would be very expensive. WiMax will be used in urban areas and satellite will give us 90 per cent of our reach,” McEwen-King remarked. The system, according to QinetiQ Rail, can deliver a connection of up to 49Mbps for trains moving at up to 200kmph, but with satellite downlink the speed will be around 20Mbps.
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