Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC), which operates the five line, 117 station, Taipei MRT network, has reportedly ended its contract with the company that provides free WiFi services on its trains.
Back in 2017, the Government-owned TRTC, signed Forest-wide Industrial Co, to provide free WiFi services to the travelling public at every station and in every train coach. The service, dubbed Free AD, has been accessible by passengers clicking on adverts via a mobile app.
However, according to reports in the local press the service has been disrupted recently by a series of unlimited data promotions offered by local mobile operators, which lead to a dramatic fall-off in WiFi usage. After Forest withdrew its services, the TRTC announced this week that it has terminated its contract.
According to TRTC's own figures, in recent months average usage of the Free AD WiFi was around 70,000 clicks on ads per day. This amounted to only 3.3% of the 2.1 million daily ridership of Taipei MRT.
However, all is not lost for train commuters in Taipei, the TRTC said it will look for other WiFi service providers soon, while informing the riding public that they can still enjoy another free WiFi option, the TPE-Free WiFi service, at 158 hotspots, including every information counter inside MRT stations.
A separate WiFi on trains service is operated on Taiwan High Speed Rail Corp’s trains. In 2017 the operator bowed to public pressure, spear-headed by high-profile entertainer Jackie Wu and agreed to work with Chunghwa Telecom to install WiFi on 80% of its fleet.
On-train WiFi services, trackside networks, the growing market for passenger WiFi and on-board entertainment were the main subjects of BWCS’s recent WiFi on Trains Conference 2019 on the 4th and 5th of June.
For more information on the conference please see www.Traincomms2019.com and for more detailed country-by-country data on how the market for on-train WiFi services is developing please see www.Internet4Trains.com or contact Mandy.Cale@BWCS.com .
The 2019 conference (www.Traincomms2019.com ) was sponsored by Icomera, Nomad Digital, Fluidmesh, RADWIN and BAI Communications. For information on the 2020 event, please contact Ross.Parsons@BWCS.com.