Continuous Wireless Broadband Internet access while travelling between France, Belgium, Holland and Germany at 300km/hr.
Thalys is an international high-speed train operator, running the high-speed line between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne. In 2007, Thalys selected a consortium comprising 21Net, Nokia Siemens Networks and Telenet to enable it to become the first international high speed railway company to deliver true broadband Internet access to passengers. As of October 2008, the complete Thalys fleet of 26 trains has been equipped with ThalysNet, the high-speed wireless Internet access provided by 21Net.
21Net was responsible for:
The 21Net system combines low-profile tracking antennas mounted on the train’s roof, with two-way Ku-band satellite transmission. 21Net has mastered and re-designed the use of a unique mobile DVB/RCS modem to share the satellite bandwidth across all the trains in the fleet, allocating bandwidth on demand according to the usage level of the train. This enables 21Net to deliver high bandwidth (2MBit/s by 512kBit/s) connectivity to the train which can be shared by simultaneous users. This puts 21Net in an entirely different class to existing systems, which rely on narrowband connections which are then shared between the simultaneous users on the train. Since the commercial launch of ThalysNet, nine out of ten interviewed users have evaluated the service as “good or “very good”.