Virgin on track to deliver Wi-Fi

Virgin Trains plans to equip its high-speed fleet on West Coast Main Line routes with Wi-Fi from next year.

The service will be of particular benefit to business users who are keen to maximise productivity by reading and responding to emails as well as browsing the web.

Virgin's foray into Wi-Fi follows in the footsteps of Virgin's competitor GNER which already offers Wi-Fi access across its network. First-class passengers can enjoy the service for free, while other travellers have to pay a fee dependant on usage.

A number of wireless base stations will be positioned alongside the track, with radios placed every few miles to ensure seamless broadband connectivity for Virgin passengers.

The train operator is working with communications specialist Nomad Digital on the project, which complements some of Virgin's existing technology innovations.

"We already offer Wi-Fi access at our first class lounges, at-seat mobile-charging points and laptop power points," said Laura Hirdman, Virgin Trains' new product development manager.

"Now with on-board internet, working travellers can carry on with business as usual by staying connected while in-transit. And all passengers can take advantage of more distracting online pursuits like news, shopping, emailing friends and family, or downloading their favourite songs and videos."

Maggie Holland

Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.

Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.