GNER speeds up Wi-Fi trains

Commuters who use GNER will soon be able to get Wi-Fi on all its services

Train operator GNER has accelerated the rollout of Wi-Fi networks on its rolling stock, after seeing strong demand for the service.

GNER announced on Wednesday that 21 of its 41 trains now offer wireless Internet access. The company had been aiming to upgrade the whole fleet by May 2007, but now plans to finish the job nine months earlier, in August this year.

According to GNER, which runs services down the east side of the UK, this will make it the first UK train operator to offer a fully Wi-Fi-enabled service.

"For a business user, WiFi creates a truly mobile office, while leisure users can shop, keep up to date with news and sport or book a weekend break at the end of their journey," said GNER chief executive Christopher Garnett in a statement.

While GNER's Wi-Fi is free for those travelling in first class, other passengers will have to pay. Like most commercial wireless services, GNER's offering is much more expensive than using a standard Internet cafe. Thirty minutes of access costs £2.95, an hour costs £4.95, and two hours costs £9.95.