Chiltern Railways is celebrating its one millionth Wi-Fi user since the launch of Mainline, the train operator’s fast service from Birmingham to London. As part of the launch of Mainline a year ago, Chiltern Railways took the bold decision to offer free Wi-Fi on all of their trains, a move which has been incredibly popular with business travellers. They were the first train operator from Birmingham to London to offer the service at no additional cost, providing passengers with the perfect environment to travel and work in comfort.
Mainline was created to fill a gap in the market – a reliable and value for money service to London, with journey times from just 90 minutes between the two cities. They also launched their ground-breaking premium economy ‘Business Zone’. It was designed to challenge the value of first class which offers all of the benefits of first class travel at a significantly lower cost.
Alan Riley, Head of On Train Service at Chiltern Railways said: “We consulted the West Midlands business community and it was clear that they were looking for a reliable service where they could work on the move in comfort. As a result, we introduced free Wi-Fi on all of our Mainline services, making us the first train operator to do so. We also have more tables on our trains and spacious carriages so that passengers can sit back and spend their time as they wish – in work or simple relaxation.
Chiltern Railways awarded the contract to Icomera to install Wi-Fi on Mainline trains in early 2011 ready for the launch in September.
Peter Kingsland, Sales Director at Icomera said: “The Chiltern Wi-Fi experience clearly demonstrates that a high usage free onboard internet service can deliver at a consistent quality to all passengers. Icomera’s use of technologies such as caching, compression, cellular diversity and aggregation, and network acceleration technology make this possible.”
The system is also ready to take advantage of new faster 4G services as these are rolled out in the UK. Icomera has already been using 4G/LTE networks on its customer services in Sweden for the past 18 months.
Alan Riley added: “With Wi-Fi user numbers increasing month-on-month we expect to reach our second million even more quickly. Our challenge now is to build on this success so that we continue to give our passengers a high quality experience.”