WiFi reaches U.K. buses

March 21, 2006
London bus

Bus riders in the United Kingdom can say good-bye to Internet woes now that they can still be connected.

The coach-traveling service National Express is piloting broadband Internet access on its buses providing it to passengers boarding on the 010 London to Cambridge route thanks to products from wireless access systems developer Telabria.

Each bus will have Telabria's mSystem MobilAP-3G, which is a multi-radio system that combines an 802.11b/g WiFi access point with the 3G data, according to the coach company.

While it's being offered for free, the system does permit for user authentication and billing, allowing for operators to charge for access and collecting revenue as well as supports third-party 3G data cards and networks such as Vodafone, O2, T-Mobile and Orange.

"We are very excited about the potential of this trial and the benefits it will bring to our customers, particularly those on busy commuter routes who increasingly see the value of staying connected traveling to and from work," said Gerry Price, Head of Engineering for National Express in a statement. "But it's not just the business community who will benefit. Mobile communication is increasingly being seen as a pre-requisite by a wide variety of travelers on the move."

Telabria Chief Executive Officer Jim Baker added that "National Express is the first UK public transport operator to recognize the potential benefits of the completely portable WiFi system we have developed. The fact that National Express customers, thanks to this technology, will have access to a fast Internet connection throughout their journey is a significant step forward."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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