Taiwanese high speed railway first to use WiMAX for broadband

Passengers travelling on Taiwan High Speed Rail (THSR) will enjoy always-on wireless broadband from early 2012. VeeTIME, a quadruple-play operator, is working with the Taiwanese Government to offer onboard connectivity enabled by its existing WiMAX system provided by Nokia Siemens Networks.

Passengers will be able to connect via Wi-Fi, or directly to the network if they have a compatible WiMAX device. It will be the first time that WiMAX has been used to support broadband access for passengers on a high speed rail service.

The High Speed Rail application will allow passengers to enjoy either WiMAX or Wi-Fi connectivity through VeeTIME’s WiMAX equipment. Nokia Siemens Networks will customise this system to accommodate the needs of high speed rail, enabling uninterrupted onboard connectivity, even at speeds as high as 285 kilometre per hour.

Under the contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will also provide services including network implementation, optimisation and a full set of hardware and software maintenance services, to enable a fast rollout.

“To apply WiMAX technology on high speed rail is a great move, and collaborating with the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI) has ensured uninterrupted communication quality when riding at high speeds in mountainous areas. We were looking to extend our WiMAX offering to high speed rail and add value to our customers by providing anytime, anywhere wireless broadband access with this pioneering initiative,” said Richard Lai, chairman, VeeTIME Corp.

“We are confident of Nokia Siemens Networks’ WiMAX system, and are sure that the company’s technology, expertise and services will ensure a reliable, continuous wireless broadband service for THSR passengers.”