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Unread 30-12-2010, 15:38   #1
Kilocharlie
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Default Free Wifi on all Dublin-Cork trains

http://irishrail.ie/news_centre/news...ew&news_id=981
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FREE WI-FI TO BE INTRODUCED ACROSS DUBLIN-CORK INTERCITY SERVICES by Corporate Communications

FREE WI-FI TO BE INTRODUCED ACROSS DUBLIN-CORK INTERCITY SERVICES FOLLOWING SUCCESSFUL TRIAL PERIOD

Iarnród Éireann has announced that it is to extend Wi-Fi service across the full Dublin-Cork Intercity fleet following a successful trial on one train on the route.

Furthermore, the company is to assess the coverage and reliability of Wi-Fi technology on other routes on the national network, with a view to further expansion.

Selected services on Dublin-Cork were equipped with Wi-Fi between March and October of this year, and the uptake from customers has been enthusiastic.

A spokesperson for Iarnród Éireann said “given the nature of the trial, and the fact that it was restricted to selected services, the usage of Wi-Fi was extremely high. Many customers would not have known the service they were boarding had Wi-Fi but still availed of it in heavy numbers. As well as offering increasingly competitive journey times, we can offer productive time to our customers – for work, reading, or viewing - and the roll-out of Wi-Fi will enhance this dramatically. Customers will be able access the Internet to check their email, surf the web, play games and connect to their corporate network. The system will be available for everyone to use once they have a Wi-Fi enabled device such as a Laptop, IPhone or smart phone.”

Iarnród Éireann have now gone to tender for a supplier of Wi-Fi on the Dublin-Cork fleet of 67 carriages, and it is expected the service will be introduced in the first quarter of the New Year. The company also intends to offer Wi-Fi for free to customers.

“We tested customer demand for both free Wi-Fi and pay-per-usage, and while demand was strong throughout, it is clear that customers see a major benefit in Wi-Fi on-board, meaning it is a marketing tool in itself. Free Wi-Fi will increase demand for our services. Together with discount fares, a modern comfortable fleet of trains, faster journey times, and on-board catering, the quality of our Intercity services is increasing all the time, and meeting our customer’s demands more and more.”
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Unread 30-12-2010, 16:09   #2
Mark Gleeson
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This was actually authorized in September 2009, classic slow news day material.

All 8 Dublin Cork sets to be fitted

Skype, youtube, rte player etc may not work or may only work for a short period of time
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Unread 11-02-2011, 18:17   #3
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When is this actually going to be in place?

Seeing that I'm on a train at the moment and have had to tether my laptop to my phone to get online.
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Unread 28-03-2011, 18:00   #4
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OK At this point I've been on a number of trains with Wi Fi on them (at least when I see Irishrail_wifi as a network for the length of the journey, I assume that's the case) and always the same experience. It doesn't work...

So tethered up to my iPhone, I'm posting here from the train to see if anyone can assist or whether it's a case of the Wi Fi just not working with Irish Rail not even have procedures in place to check.

First the computer. It's a 4 month old MacBook Air running SnowLeopard and has never had a problem connecting to another network, even one with Windows-based authentication turned on.

So these are the screenshots I get when I look in at the network settings





So is it something I need to change? Is there something constantly wrong with the network itself?

Any ideas?
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Unread 28-03-2011, 18:23   #5
Mark Gleeson
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There are no trains operating between Dublin and Cork currently with WIFI access, no even a discrete test. There may be a single train with the original test equipment or it could be a quirk of wifi devices broadcasting a SSID they saw before

The tendering process is more or less complete and we should be seeing roll out in coming months. I don't know who won the tender.
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Unread 29-03-2011, 10:39   #6
Colm Moore
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Are you actually seeing (but not able to access) their private network that is used to update things like seat reservations?
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Unread 29-03-2011, 11:15   #7
Mark Gleeson
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The private network is SSID CIE and is WEP encrypted so you can't get access to it.

It could be that the free wifi IE offer at some stations is now under irishrail_wifi as to have a seemless offering at both station and train.

The problem with some wifi cards is they will advertise the last SSID they were associated with so you end up seeing networks which don't exist in your location.

As the tender is not yet complete we can't give more details (Irish Rail won't say anyway) but we will have full details before launch. But I understand it will be free to all (youtube etc might by subject to a usage quota). The majority of on train wifi offerings in the UK are charged for in standard class so this is ahead of the curve.
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Unread 30-03-2011, 09:09   #8
comcor
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Thanks for the replies.

I seem to have been allocated an IP address (it was different on my phone and laptop), so I suspect that what was going on was that the wireless router associated with the trial equipment was still active, but that its onward connection wasn't.

Hopefully they get it sorted out soon as Vodafone's 3G offering is pretty pants from Port Laoise to Blarney. You only seem to be on 3G when stopped in Thurles, Mallow and Limerick Junction. Otherwise it just crawls on a 2G network.
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Unread 30-03-2011, 09:18   #9
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Actually a 169.x.x.x IP address is a default address assigned by the interface on the device when DHCP times out. So you weren't being allocated an address by the wifi hotspot.
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Unread 30-03-2011, 09:30   #10
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The on train solution will likely use 2 HSPDA modems on each network and these will have high quality antennas roof mounted which should beat any 3G stick. Some fancy software provides a virtual network tunnel so your connection stays up, through it gets routed through Sweden for one of the main providers

I understand that Irish Rail had discussions with some or all of the mobile networks to fill in some serious gaps in coverage on the Dublin Cork mainline, 3 gaps were found and have been filed.

Vodafone have coverage through the tunnel at Cork and Irish Rail has done deals for collocation at some of its signaling radio masts. Irish Rail happen to own the biggest fiber optic network in Ireland so easy slap a base station in.

The class B private address 169.x.x.x is typical of the SSID broadcast issue you see. You would expect to see 10.x.x.x or 192.168.x.x if connected to the trains wifi (when its fitted)
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Unread 10-05-2011, 17:17   #11
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Was having a moan on twitter about Wifi problems on my train to Kingston, Ontario when up popped @viawifisupport on my @mentions list, so I shot them my Squid error code. Definitely something IE Wifi vendor should have if they don't already.
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Unread 26-05-2011, 10:43   #12
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I can confirm a contract has been signed for the full fit out of Wifi on Dublin Cork. A formal public notice is expected in the next week once the appeal/cooling off period expires.

I don't know who it is but I'd bet big money its backed by Icomera.
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Unread 26-05-2011, 14:18   #13
comcor
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So what kind of time frame are we talking about to actually get it up and running?
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Unread 26-05-2011, 14:37   #14
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Weeks not months
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Unread 03-06-2011, 12:02   #15
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I was on a Mk4 - don't get me started on the jumping carriages - from Lmk Junction to Heuston yesterday and there was an irishrail_wifi connection available for the whole journey. I could not connect to it (it was unlocked) but I am not sure if this is at my end or theirs.
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Unread 03-06-2011, 12:45   #16
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I would be surprised if Wifi was not in place by end of the month

The latest equipment is a lot smaller that the earliest on train wifi gear from the 2006/7 era
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Unread 26-06-2011, 02:30   #17
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Hi, I'm wondering how I get in contact regarding the tender of wifi onboard. I own a business that provides the service free of charge to customers. Can you PM me a name/head of department to address to? I'm aware that you are rolling out the service but as IR state, "the service may be suspended at any time" I'm sure options are kept open.
Regards.
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Unread 26-06-2011, 14:06   #18
Mark Gleeson
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As we understand 4 companies came forward after Irish Rail publicly sought proposals to deliver Wifi onboard.

Only one of those companies actually delivered a working on train trial, that was Fleetconnect who seem to be acting as an agent of Icomera. We are unsure as to the reasons why the other three failed to deliver a working on train trial. There are very demanding safety certification standards to be met, this tends to trip up some of the cheap and cheerful offerings as the cost to get certified is significant (Icomera are certified in the UK, Sweden and others and under EU law Irish Rail accepts that certification)

A previous "free" offer disappeared. A representative of that company got quite flustered when we asked for evidence that they could deliver, white papers, previous customers etc.

A tendering process followed the trial. This was a long drawn out process and we understand a company has been chosen and various legal/contractual requirements for the deal are now complete and the equipment will be fitted very very soon.

As a result it is too late and bear in mind contracts are "most economically advantageous tender" so price is not necessarily the deciding factor. Technical capability was the key concern we understand.
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Unread 05-07-2011, 15:59   #19
Jamie2k9
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From IR twitter page:

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Free Wi-fi coming soon to Dublin-Cork services. Watch this space.
Do they plan on having it on other services?
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Unread 06-07-2011, 15:31   #20
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Unlikely; the rolling stock isn't equipped. Only the Mk4 carriages are.
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