In its short but intense history 21Net has been able to pioneer and master the use of bi-directional satellite communications on trains. With quality systems and superior connectivity levels, 21Net has established itself as the world’s leading broadband and multimedia service for train operators.
Entrepreneur Henry Hyde-Thomson, founder and chairman of Anglo Scientific sees the potential of wireless Internet on trains and 21Net is born.
21Net sets up trials with Spain’s national rail operator RENFE demonstrating for the first time access to broadband Internet via a bi-directional antenna on a high-speed train running at over 300 km/h. At speeds in excess of 4MBit/s, the on-board Internet was just as fast as and even faster than the connection in many people’s homes.
21Net runs a commercial pilot train on the Thalys network that results in the strong interest for broadband Internet from passengers.
21Net’s system further matures and demonstrates solid performances through the SNCF-TGV network. 21Net also develops a DVB-S-RCS (Digital Video Broadcast - Satellite - Return Channel Satellite) solution for high-speed trains.
Thalys selects a consortium including 21Net to become the first international high-speed railway company to deliver true broadband Internet access to passengers travelling between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne.
In partnership with Thalys, 21Net launches ThalysNet across the entire fleet. Eight out of ten ThalysNet users rate the service as “good” or “excellent”.
21Net is selected by Canadian rail operator Via Rail Canada and Parsons Corporation, to take over Internet Wi-Fi services on the trains running between Windsor, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City.
SNCF, the French national train operator, selects 21Net to equip the Moovi TER, which is France’s latest intercity TER (Transport Express Regional) prototype, with wireless Internet. The Moovi TER was the first regional train in France to offer free Internet access.
21Net is chosen by NTV (Nuovo Transporto Viaggiatori), Italy’s new high-speed train operator scheduled for launch in 2011, to operate the entire Telematics system (Broadband Internet & Multimedia Entertainment)on board its new Alstom trains. 21Net is working with Alstom to integrate the design of 21Net’s Telematics system into the AGV (“Automotrice à Grande Vitesse” - successor of the TGV) trains being built for NTV.
21Net completes a successful Broadband Internet on-board trial with Indian Railways, the world’s largest railway company. The trial took place in January 2009 on the Mumbai to Ahmedabad Shatabdi Express.
21Net strengthens its partnerships and further develops its innovative broadband and multimedia systems.
21Net enters a partnership with Orange Business Services offering a broader scope of services. Innovacom, one of Europe’s leading telecommunication and IT venture capital firms makes a £6.5 million investment in 21Net, further solidifying the company’s ability to offer robust, affordable and high-end solutions the rail market requires in the long term.