Gautrain eyes WiFi launch

Gautrain, the rapid rail network in Gauteng, says it aims to launch a Wi-Fi service before the end of the year.

It follows the news that Telkom, in partnership with the South African National Taxi Council (Santaco), is set to launch free Wi-Fi connections at taxi ranks and in mini bus taxis as early as this week.

Metrorail in the Western Cape is also due to begin rolling out a free Wi-Fi internet service at train stations – and plans are also afoot to offer Wi-Fi on carriages too.

A spokesperson for the Gautrain Management Agency told BusinessTech that it has been working on a Wi-Fi service for some time, and plans to make an announcement before the end of the year.

The spokesperson said that the group is also on track to have mobile phone signal at all subterranean Gautrain stations.

An agreement was signed with all mobile service providers to enable comprehensive services to Gautrain passengers by July 2014, Beeld reported in late 2012.

Ismael Vadi, Gauteng transport MEC, said cellphone reception would be phased in gradually, in three steps.

Step one would be enabling voice communication at all stations by June 2013.

Phase two would be reception in the tunnel by December 2013, while reception on the whole route would be up and running by July 2014.

The Gautrain spokesperson said that the company has been in discussion with mobile service providers for some time, and it expects to make an announcement in the next month.

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Gautrain eyes WiFi launch