WiFi on Southern rolling stock

Discussion in 'Traction & Rolling Stock' started by infobleep, 4 May 2015.

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  1. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    Why did Southern get rid of the WiFi on some of their rolling stock? It was a link up with t-mobile as far as I can remember.

    There's a big push now for WiFi on trains and other companies continued with it even from around that time so wouldn't it have made sense to keep it going and improve it over time, if it wasn't working well enough back then.

    I believe it's being reintroduced although I doubt Southern would want passengers to see it as a reintroduction.
     
  2. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    I think it was the fact that it was only on the BML and only some of the fleet had it fitted, meaning they had to be kept on Brighton expresses to make it worthwhile. Since Southern dont seem to like have set diagrams for the different sub classes, maybe they just thought it was easier to remove it? In fairness it wouldn't have been as good as WiFi thats around today and maybe the alternatives weren't worth it at that time?
     
  3. Bishopstone

    Bishopstone Member

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    I believe the official explanation was that the number of tunnels en route made it unreliable.
     
  4. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    So how do they deal with the tunnels today? I believe Virgin had WiFi then as did others, unless I've miss remembered all of that. How did they cope with tunnels?
     
  5. MCR247

    MCR247 Established Member

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    Tbf this was a very early system so comparing it with current systems elsewhere is unfair IMO
     
  6. ctrh136

    ctrh136 Member

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    I believe it was only ever fitted to the 377/3s and they are generally used on metro / East Grinstead services now from what I've seen, rather than Brighton Expresses. As mentioned before 377s are mixed up now as well.
     
  7. monsento

    monsento Member

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    is it like bus wifi? surely a better plan would to go with plugs even that will be pointless as battery technology improves, and somehow using the train as aerial doesnt a toc already do something like that to improve the signal?
     
  8. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    Yes both Virgin and Southerns WIFI was provided by T Mobile Hotspot so you would think they both employed similar technology
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    bus wifi is a small device on board that picks up the strongest available 2/3/4g signal whereas the older system on southern and Virgin relied on a series of line side beacons i think
     
    Last edited: 5 May 2015
  9. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    It required quite a bit of work on the ground, making it rather less scalable I believe. The system used on VTEC and others combines satellite and mobile data.

    I forget what speeds I got in Southern when I went from Victoria to Brighton on the first train with it installed, in a reserved carriage full of people like me doing speed tests throughout. It was pretty fast for then, but now a half decent mobile data service (like Three or EE) would beat it. Soon you'll have Vodafone and O2 catching up, so I only use Wi-Fi if I have to - such as on a train where the solar reflective film kills the signal.
     
  10. monsento

    monsento Member

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    the cross country submarines have this?
     
  11. Pigeon

    Pigeon Member

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    Leaky feeders in the tunnels will do it, as used on the Underground for cab communications I believe - but that is trackside equipment, rather than on-train, so presumably would be down to NR to install. Whether or not they have been persuaded to install it anywhere I don't know.
     
  12. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    I try to use the WiFi on South West Trains but when it does connect, which to be fair is over 50% of the time, it is much slower than my mobile phone and that's even my mobile phone using 3G on a late evening train service which doesn't have many passengers on board. Of course as 3G signal is next to nothing between most of Portsmouth and Guildford, it still wins in some cases.

    So may be the WiFi isn't quiet what the government might have envisaged, assuming that experience is replicated across most or all other TOCs.
     
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