In a bid to boost competitiveness, Vietnam's railway operators are going to install wireless Internet on several north-south express trains this month.
Nguyen Van Binh, deputy general director of Hanoi Railway Passenger Transport Company, told news website Thoi bao Kinh te Saigon (Saigon Times) that they would finish the installation on SE1, SE2, SE3, and SE4 routes traversing Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City by January 20 to serve travels for Tet. Vietnam's Lunar New Year.
The country’s biggest holiday peaks on February 19, with high demand for homecoming and tourism travels.
Vietnam Railways, the state-owned operator of all railways in the country, has brought in military-run telecom firm Viettel to set up the Internet, which is expected to cover all trains in Vietnam in the future.
Viettel has built transceiver stations along the railway but signals will be lost when passengers go through tunnels.
Binh said they would publish the network map showing spots of no signal.
He said the service would be served free of charge to make the railway service more competitive.
The north-south train usually takes around 30 hours and passengers have a high demand for surfing the Internet. Many have resorted to the 3G network, which is not stable given the train’s high speed.
Wireless Internet is currently available at several large train stations like HCMC and Hanoi.