Passengers using long-distance transport services and those travelling on the selected Prague Integrated Transport System train connections can look forward to a better operation standard of the on-board Wi-Fi network. České dráhy has made a contract with its “ČD - Telematika” subsidiary focused on replacement of the oldest routers with a new, more powerful technology. This replacement will be carried out on 146 passenger cars and on all railjet units.

“High-quality internet connectivity is one of the most demanded services on the part of our customers and parties ordering public transport services. The trains can then be used as a mobile office, and it is easy to surf the social networks and deal with e-mails and other messages. We introduced Wi-Fi communication on the board of our trains already a long time ago, and that is why the original technology is now rather obsolete in many ways. For this reason, we have decided to replace this old system with modern, powerful devices which are to boost Wi-Fi and internet connectivity, especially on long-distance trains. The new technology will also work with the support of 5G networks, which guarantees a truly significant increase in quality,” says Michal Krapinec, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of České dráhy.

The new Wi-Fi routers installed on the board of our trains will use all public data frequencies from 700 to 2600 MHz and all available networks, so-called bonding. This means that the on-board Wi-Fi on the train will always communicate with the base station of the operator offering the best-quality mobile data signal at the point of travel. The technology will be able to use also the 5G networks. In addition to the Czech Republic, the Wi-Fi network will also be ready for operation in Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and Germany.

"We highly appreciate the fact that we can participate in improving the functionality of the Wi-Fi networks on the board of trains operated by České dráhy. The newly installed equipment supports next-generation networks and will be able to keep up with the latest developments for a long time. For example, the maximum baud rate of the new routers of up to 5.5 Gbps exceeds by far the current capabilities of the ground infrastructure, and therefore there are no risks that the routers will quickly become obsolete. The internet signal will be distributed to passengers on both 2.4 and 5 GHz frequencies via the Wi-Fi 5 standard with a possibility of future upgrades to Wi-Fi 6,” says Jan Hobza, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the ČD - Telematika company.

The Wi-Fi technology will be replaced on a total of 195 vehicles, including 131 fast train carriages, 3 control cars and 12 double-decker cars of the Prague Integrated Transport system, and 49 cars in 7 railjet units. As far as the express train carriages are concerned, the replacement process involves such vehicle classes as Apee, Bdmpee, Ampz, Bhmpz, Bdmpz and Bmz241 and 245. These are modern and comfortable carriages for a maximum speed of 160 or 200 km/h, which České dráhy deploys mainly on the EuroCity and InterCity trains known as Berliner, Metropolitan, Jižní expres, Západní expres, Bavorský expres and also on fast trains named Berounka or Slovácký expres.

The complete renewal of the Wi-Fi technology, including dismantling of the old equipment, installation of new equipment, elaboration of the renewal process documentation, approval of changes and training of staff will be carried out by the ČD – Telematika subsidiary, which will then also provide complete technical assistance and servicing activities for 60 months.