Paris Metro firm to run Wi-Fi buses

First trains, now trolleys


Wireless Internet access will soon move beyond railways and onto the roads if RATP, the company which runs the Paris Metro and the capital's bus services, has its way.

The organisation will next week show off a Wi-Fi enabled bus at the Paris-hosted Public Transport Exhibition 2004. It will also launch a public trial of the technology, on the number 38 bus, which runs between North and South Paris. Buses on the route have already been equipped with Wi-Fi, RATP said.

Travellers will be able to connect their (suitably equipped) PDAs and notebooks with the bus' on-board access point. However, Internet connectivity is only provided at Wi-Fi speeds when the vehicle passes within range of a fixed hotspot - at a major terminus, for example. For the rest of the journey, connectivity is maintained through a GPRS link.

The system will hop between these two network technologies without interrupting users' access sessions, promised Xavier Aubry, marketing chief of Franco-Swedish software company Appear Networks, which has provided the server code for the RATP trial. Cisco is offering the hardware.

RATP plans to use the system to deliver up-to-the-minute information to bus drivers and staff, and to allow them to communicate with their HQ. For example, the company foresees bus drivers using the system to alerts the authorities to obstructions likes cars parked in bus lanes.

RATP also envisages using the technology to provide travel data to passengers. At this stage, it's not clear whether they will be offered full Internet access, or simply RATP-provided information. ®

Related stories

More UK train firms commit to on-board Wi-Fi
GNER to roll out ten Wi-Fi locos
Six months to get wireless rail travel free from Virgin
Eurostar preps Wi-Fi train trial
Wi-Fi providers target train travellers
Delayed GNER Wi-Fi train trial steams out
US railroad uses Wi-Fi to run driverless trains
Silicon Valley to get US' first Wi-Fi train
Airships to deliver broadband to rural areas

Similar topics

Broader topics

Narrower topics


Other stories you might like

  • US, UK, Western Europe fail to hit top 50 cheapest broadband list
    Syria, Sudan, Belarus, Ukraine came top. Are you starting to see a pattern?

    In an analysis of 3,356 fixed-line broadband deals in 220 countries, price comparison website Cable.co.uk found that the UK has the 92nd cheapest internet, beating the US, which came in 134th place.

    Based on 41 packages, the average cost per month for broadband in Britain came in at $39.01. Stateside, this rose to $55, from 34 packages measured.

    For these bulwarks of western democracy, 92nd and 134th place isn't particularly impressive. But if you really want to shave the dollars off your internet bill, you have a number of options.

    Continue reading
  • The right to repairable broadband befits a supposedly critical utility
    A bolt of lightning has caused me days of misery, because the fix requires too much proprietary tech

    Column I heard an electric discharge, a bit like a Jacob's ladder, immediately before a deafening crack of thunder. I'd never been so close to a lightning strike! All of the lights in the house went bright, then dimmed, then went back to normal. "Uh-oh," I thought, "I'm in trouble now." Everything in the house had been hit by a nasty surge and the oft-spoken aphorism that broadband services are now a utility to rank with water and electricity was suddenly very, very, real to me.

    But it was electricity I worried about first. I use top of the line surge protectors so my most sensitive devices – computers and monitors, of which I have many – all seemed fine. But I'd overlooked two other connections that come into nearly every home: the antenna and the phone line.

    My television seemed to have taken a direct hit. It still worked – mostly – but appeared unable to receive any digital broadcasts. That circuit, lying on the other side of the antenna lead, likely took a big hit from the lightning strike. But the rest of the television seemed fine – at first. After a few days, and several spontaneous reboots, I began to intuit that devices don't always immediately fail when hit by lightning. Sometimes they gradually shed their functions and utility.

    Continue reading
  • Telecoms growth forecast for 2022 may be optimistic
    Analyst view: 4Q21 drop plus strains from war mean component shortages drag on

    The telecoms kit market had a good 2021 with revenues close to $100bn, up more than 20 percent since 2017, but growth is now slowing, according to analyst Dell'Oro Group. Huawei is also starting to feel the effect of sanctions, but still leads the global market by a fair margin.

    However, the Dell'Oro Group's prediction of slightly less growth for 2022 may turn out to be optimistic amid warnings that the Ukraine war is already having an impact on the fragile supply chain recovery.

    Dell'Oro's analysis is based on the telecoms market sectors it monitors, including Broadband Access, Microwave & Optical Transport, Mobile Core Network (MCN), Radio Access Network (RAN), and Service Provider Router & Switch.

    Continue reading
  • Fibre broadband uptake in UK lags behind OECD countries
    Not very 'world-beating'

    Optical-fibre internet now makes up 32 per cent of fixed broadband subscriptions across the OECD countries, and is the fastest growing broadband technology. However, there is a mixed picture with cable still dominant in the Americas and the UK still predominantly DSL.

    These figures come from an update to the OECD's broadband portal, indicating that fibre subscriptions grew by 15 per cent across the OECD countries between June 2020 and June 2021, with demand for faster internet speeds as employees worked remotely due to COVID-19 restrictions cited as one reason.

    Fixed broadband subscriptions in OECD countries totalled 462.5 million as of June 2021, up from 443 million a year earlier, while mobile broadband subscriptions totalled 1.67 billion, up from 1.57 billion a year earlier.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022