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[August 27, 2014]
Travellers stay connected - at 125mph ; ADVERTISEMENT FEATURE [Newcastle Journal (England)]
(Newcastle Journal (England) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) EAST Coast understands how important it is for its business travellers to keep connected, and so offers a full-time help desk to assist should any issues arise as David Wilson, service desk manager at East Coast, explains.
"Whether it's an important business deal or sending a few tweets, we understand that reliable wi-fi matters to our customers," he said. "Our service is connected throughout our mainline, even at 125mph, and we treat it as we do any important customer service - by being there to help with any problems." Once you disembark, having boarded in the centre of Newcastle, you're immediately in the heart of London and just a short walk from the London Underground, saving even more time as you make your way to your appointment.
To ensure the latest speeds are available with the 4G network, East Coast is upgrading its on-board wireless internet systems, to deliver a more reliable internet connection for passengers with an investment of Pounds 2.2m, which will be completed by the end of summer.
East Coast's investment has involved installing industry-leading hardware on-board each of its 44 trains in a six-month programme.
The improvements also mean East Coast passengers will be among the first to benefit when Network Rail upgrades its fixed line and mobile infrastructure at the trackside, delivering much faster broadband speeds and greater capacity by 2019.
The East Coast route was the first in the UK to offer wi-fi on a moving train 10 years ago in 2003, when trials began using what was then ground-breaking technology.
On-train systems have been progressively improved since, but the extension of fibre optic broadband to millions of homes and the surging popularity of smartphones and tablet computers have raised customers' expectations from on-train wireless internet.
Government investment will focus on a series of "not-spots" - areas alongside key rail routes with intermittent or poor mobile phone signals. Network Rail is already mid-way through a digital communications improvement programme to upgrade its fixed line and mobile infrastructure.
Further improvements will follow, including an increase in the number of mobile phone masts to fill in gaps in signal coverage, using the most up-todate technology capable of delivering higher access speeds.
David added: "The upgrade is exciting as it will give us an unbeatable service and will help our customers feel at home when travelling with us." Wi-fi is also available in East Coast first class lounges, which offer peace and quiet in plush surroundings, complimentary hot and cold drinks and newspapers - including at London's King's Cross and Newcastle stations.
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