Alstom aims to deliver “seamless connectivity” with purchase of Wi-Fi and infotainment company.
The French train manufacturer Alstom is signalling its commitment to improving the reliability and speed of wireless connections on its trains, after the company signed an agreement to purchase a provider of on-board Internet and passenger infotainment. The purchase of 21net, which has offices in Belgium, France, UK, India and Italy and which last year turned over around £14m (€16m), was backed by a Paris-based venture capital firm that focuses on investments in telecommunication and IT, Innovacom.
21net has experience of working with a French rail company, in 2016 21net fitted out Wi-Fi in SNCF’s high-speed trains that by the end of 2017 fitted out SNCF’s entire TGV intercity fleet – 300 trains and 2,400 coaches. 21net has also fitted Wi-Fi and infotainment systems on trains in Italy. Established in 2001, 21net specialises in end-to-end network design and optimisation for broadband Internet on high-speed trains – expertise that will no doubt prove invaluable for Alstom as it equips its trains with the bandwidth required to keep its customers connected.