BWCS says UK leading the way in on-train Wi-Fi
The UK is ahead of its European counterparts when it comes to rolling out wireless internet services on trains, according to consulting firm BWCS.
Across Britain, the number of train carriages equipped with Wi-Fi has reached 2,000, while its nearest rivals Italy and Germany have just 995 and 911 respectively.
BWCS predicts the market for on-train wireless broadband services in Europe will increase to €80 million (£64 million) per year by 2021, up from €47 million a year in 2011.
The consultancy also believes the business model for these services has become much clearer. Free broadband was available in half of all Wi-Fi-equipped carriages by mid-2012, while paid-for access was offered in just 17 per cent of them.
Just over one-quarter utilised a mixed payment model, with time-based charging in standard class and free access for premium passengers.
Graham Wilde, chief executive of BWCS, said: "Competition is the major factor driving train operators to make this investment."
The news comes in the same week that South West Trains announced it will roll out onboard Wi-Fi across the rail operator's network over the next 12 months, reports Business Traveller.