Internet to be available on high-speed trains
Updated: 2011-03-10 14:40
By Ariel Tung (chinadaily.com.cn)
New York - As the first of its kind, the Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway will provide high speed Internet for commuters.
Passengers in China will be able to access wireless broadband Internet via their laptops and iPhones or BlackBerrys while waiting to board their train.
The Nasdaq-listed Telestone Technologies Corporation, an access network solutions provider serving the Chinese market, has been awarded a Wireless Fiber-Optics Distribution System(WFDS) project by China Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Rail Shareholding Corporation Ltd.
"For the communication portion of our high-speed rail project, we are pleased to have selected Telestone, whose proprietary WFDS technology is uniquely suited for providing wireless voice and high-speed data service to our rail passengers," said Li Yunhui, general manager of the telecommunication department of China Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Rail Shareholding Corporation Ltd.
The $10 million project calls for Telestone to provide engineering and equipment supply to enable wireless broadband Internet access as well as 2G and 3G wireless cellular coverage on the railway.
Han Daqing, chairman and CEO of Telestone Technologies, said the WFDS project will be completed before the high-speed railway kicks off in June.
The 818-mile (1,318-kilometer) railway, which began construction in April 2008, will cover Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai and four provinces - Hebei, Shandong, Anhui and Jiangsu.
The $33.4 billion high-speed railway, which will cut the travel between China's two largest cities by five hours, will run through 24 stations and serve 80 million passengers each year.
"In the later stage, we will further our cooperation with Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Rail Shareholding Corporation to provide high-speed Internet and communication services on the railway line and tunnels," Han said.
"The WFDS solution can enable all the 24 railway stations and 9-mile (16-kilometer) tunnels with comprehensive, versatile and convenient high-tech applications via WLAN wireless Internet connection and 2G and 3G network applications."
He believes there will be a demand for Internet access on the high-speed railway among the large proportion of middle-class train commuters.
"Although the journey time is being reduced to less than five hours, passengers will still be very interested in accessing the Internet for entertainment and work purposes," said Han.
China's Internet users are growing by leaps and bounds. China was home to a total of 457 million Internet users by the end of 2010, an increase of 73.3 million users from a year earlier, according to the China Internet Network Information Center.
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