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In Silicon Valley, WiMAX hits the rails

Silicon Valley's Caltrain launched the nation's first commuter train with WiMAX this week. The succesful test means Internet will go live all the way to SF.
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Written by ZDNet Editors, Contributors on

Silicon Valley's Caltrain launched the nation's first commuter train with wireless Internet this week, AP reports. The British company Nomad Digital and Intel outfitted the light-rail vehicle with WiMAX-based technology, which provided continuous high-speed Internet access between the popular Millbrae and Palo Alto stations. In its maiden voyage, the train reached 79 mph while testers enjoyed broadband speeds on their laptops.

The system links the train to track-side wireless base stations, with radios located every few miles along the rail. Caltrain might also use the technology to monitor train speeds and security cameras.

That test passed, Randy Rudolph, Caltrain's chief information officer, said the technology will be deployed within two months along the entire line, from the garlic capital of Gilroy all the way to San Francisco. No charge.

Nomad has installed similar systems in the United Kingdom and Holland, and now is working on wireless projects in China, the Middle East and South America.

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