Deutsche Bahn plans to improve its WiFi offering for long-distance travelers in the course of 2020.
“We want to enable our customers to surf seamlessly – on the trains and at the train stations,” said Digital Board Member Sabina Jeschke of the German Press Agency. A coherent network is currently being built. This should create a uniform WiFi network on the train and at the train stations, which should make uninterrupted surfing and phone calls possible.
So far, Deutsche Bahn WiFi has been offered for free across the board on its long-distance trains. In addition, the connection is often interrupted – and at the latest when you get off, it breaks off. At the train stations, travelers can often only log in to other networks that are often subject to charges, for example from Telekom.
At least as far as the Internet connection on the train routes is concerned, it is not just a matter of the will of the company and investments in hardware. According to Deutsche Bahn, the quality of the trains also depends on the antenna mast infrastructure along the route, which in turn is the responsibility of the mobile operator.
The mobile radio signals from different providers are bundled and made available on the train – but this only works if there are any signals that could be bundled.
The group plans to invest around two billion euros in WLAN expansion and other digital projects over the next four years. According to dpa information, this also includes the digitization of rail operations, for example, via sensors in trains. No further projects that are to be financed with the money were initially known.
Deutsche Bahn is also currently revising its IT landscape for its operating systems. The work also affects the train app, which can be used to book cell phone tickets, for example. In three years at the latest, travelers should be able to book end-to-end travel chains, which also applies to off-track sections. A speech recognition system based on Apple’s Siri is also planned.