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How does train wifi work and why is it under threat in England?

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Wifi for train passengers in England may be axed as the government seeks to cut costs. The move is being pushed by Department for Transport in order to cut costs as it looks to “reform all aspects of the railway” and provide “value for money”.

But how does it work, and will this prove a false economy?Most train wifi ultimately depends on the broader mobile communications network.

The train’s antennae pick up the signal – usually 3G or 4G – from regular masts or base stations near the tracks and connects passengers via routers in carriages.Establishing a wifi connection is straightforward on most trains.

However, the actual speed or connectivity to the internet depends on the network signal and how the bandwidth is divided up between how many users.That is what the DfT seems to be hoping.

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