Connections +
News

Bell Canada extends Wi-Fi pilot to VIA Rail Canada trains

Bell Canada has announced the extension of the AccessZone Wi-Fi hotspot pilot service to VIA Rail train cars.


July 10, 2003  


Print this page

Bell Canada has announced the extension of the AccessZone Wi-Fi hotspot pilot service to VIA Rail train cars.

During the four-month pilot, which began yesterday, Bell Canada will equip select VIA 1 train cars with wireless Internet access that will provide free wireless local area network (“WLAN”), based on the 802.11b Wi-Fi technology standard, for VIA 1 passengers traveling between Montreal and Toronto.

This provides mobile professionals, business travelers and consumers with 802.11b enabled laptops or handheld devices another convenient option to wirelessly access the Internet, e-mail and corporate networks while traveling on the train, the company says.

For the first time in North America, mobile WLAN connectivity, using combined satellite and wireless networks, will be available within a moving passenger train car. The pilot service combines Bell ExpressVu’s satellite service, Bell Mobility’s 1X wireless network and Bell’s nationwide data network, with support from Intel Corp. and wireless technology developed by Ottawa-based PointShot Wireless.

Here is how it works: The Internet is transmitted “down” to the train from Bell ExpressVu’s Internet satellite service to onboard equipment and then to the end-user’s WLAN-enabled device.

Responses from the device are then transmitted back “up” to the train’s WLAN equipment and then delivered over Bell Mobility’s 1X network to the Internet.

The WLAN connection provided on the train will be similar to or better than dial-up connection speeds, allowing passengers to be more productive by accessing VPN, corporate intranets, sending and receiving e-mail, or browsing the Internet.

On the outset of the pilot, VIA Rail express train number 53 from Montreal to Toronto and number 66 from Toronto to Montreal will have a VIA 1 car equipped with WLAN capabilities.


Print this page

Related