In 2008, the French national train operator SNCF selected 21Net to equip an Intercity TER (Transport Express Regional) train called Moovi TER with its Wi-Fi Internet service. The Moovi TER train is the prototype for SNCF’s next generation “Internet connected” TER regional express trains.
The Moovi TER train was revealed at the InnoTrans fair in September 2008 and attracted considerable attention whilst on display in Berlin. After the InnoTrans Fair, SNCF launched its latest innovative train in the Brittany region.
Thanks to 21Net’s Internet service, the Moovi TER became the first regional train in France to offer free Internet access to its passengers. Since its launch, the on-board broadband internet services for the Moovi TER train have demonstrated high levels of quality and performance which have led the service to become very popular with passengers.
The 21Net system architecture is based on two way Ku-band satellite transmission to provide connectivity between the internet backbone and a master server on the train. A hub earth station provides the connection from the internet backbone (and from the network operations centre) via the satellite, directly to a low-profile tracking antenna on the train. GPRS and Wi-Fi access between the train and available networks is also provided in stations and in tunnels.
On the train, Wi-Fi (wireless LAN) connections are used between the master server and customers with Wi-Fi enabled lap-tops and PDA’s.
The 21Net system address the variable needs of train passengers, especially commuter passengers and students, and allows them to access the Internet, their email and corporate VPNs.