DB Launches Europe’s Largest Rolling Wifi Network

Deutsche Bahn has launched its new wifi service: WIFI@DB, a free connected wifi network that already includes the operator’s entire ICE fleet, more than 100 stations, all DB lounges, some regional trains and buses.

By the end of 2020 Deutsche Bahn will bring up the station total to 130. All IC trains, which are currently being equipped with wifi, will also become part of WIFI@DB right away. Several hundred regional trains and buses will follow in 2021.

Deutsche Bahn introduces WIFI@DB
Deutsche Bahn introduces WIFI@DB

How Does It Work?

Passengers only have to log in once. After that they can get online at stations and in trains all day for free. Passengers stay online even when switching trains. Once a passenger has logged in, their device will automatically connect to the closest WIFI@DB.

Sabina Jeschke, Head of Digitalisation and Technology at DB, said:

“Water, electricity, wifi: the internet is a basic need. That's true for our homes as well as on the go. WIFI@DB is another step towards turning our trains into extended living rooms or mobile offices. 'Seamless connectivity' means more comfort for commuters and business travellers who can now get online on the train, at the station and in the DB lounge and don't have to log back in again on their return journey.”

Deutsche Bahn is continuously developing its technical wifi infrastructure at stations, on trains and in buses. It has invested more than 200 million euros in this area in recent years. It is currently investing around 44 million euros in expanding its wifi network to 130 stations. It has set up 3,800 access points to date, laying 230km of cables.

The company’s ICE fleet has allowed passengers to have wifi with full coverage since 2017. However, the most important factor for a stable internet connection on trains is that there is a good enough mobile network along railway lines. Expanding this network is the responsibility of mobile network providers and is a requirement from the Bundesnetzagentur (Federal Network Agency): by the end of 2022 the most important railway lines are to have full mobile coverage and by 2024 all of them are. Deutsche Bahn says it is in close contact with mobile network providers in order to improve connectivity on the rail network.

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