As part of the initiative to promote seamless connectivity and internet service everywhere, NTT Communications, the Japanese network service provider has announced a new plan to roll out its Wi-Fi service for bullet train travelers. The network coverage will be extended to its new N700 series bullet trains as part of the HotSpot services that is originally limited to static locations such as hotels, restaurants, convenience stores and public locations.
Definitely, getting a stable network connection while moving in high speed is quite challenging as there will be some handover and cell coverage change when moving from one location to another, not to mention about the Doppler effect that may deteriorate the wireless receive signal strength. Surprisingly, the network company claimed that users can expect a broadband 2Mbps download speed as being provided by wire and repeaters installed along the bullet train track.
The broadband service doesn’t come free but with a minimum charge of 500 yen (USD5.7) per day or 1680 yen (USD19.25) per month, it is quite a good deal considering the few hours journey that you can still stay connected to company network through VPN (Virtual Private Network) for effective work. The new service will be available for Shinkansen that connects two major cities – Tokyo and Osaka from March 2009 and is expected to be rolled out to other areas in short future.