St Pancras International launches UK’s most powerful station WiFi
HS1 Ltd, owner of the grade 1 listed St Pancras International, today announced that it is rolling out the highest performance WiFi in a public space in the UK, and in doing so, is creating the most advanced internet infrastructure in any train station in the UK.
The new advertising-supported system, which will be rolled out from today, is the first instalment of a two-phase major upgrade, designed and operated by WIFI Metropolis. The first phase increases the coverage to the entirety of St Pancras International – and the three other HS1 Ltd-owned stations – with capacity that is ten times the existing system. Phase two, planned for the autumn of 2014, will increase capacity a further twenty times, with the ultimate goal to facilitate as many as 7,000 users streaming HD content simultaneously and provide them with the potential ability to download a HD movie in less than two minutes.
Through the up-scaling of 24 single radio units to 54 multi-radio Xirrus access points, as well as the upgrade of the internal fiber ring from 200Mb to 1Gb – and ultimately 20Gb – and the installation of two external diverse route 10Gb fiber internet links, St Pancras International’s 48 million annual visitors will now have a strong, smooth and fast connection, no matter where they are and of a quality 200 times greater than previously. The access points support all WiFi protocols and frequencies including the latest 802.11ac which can be configured to provide connection speeds of up to 1Gb.
The installation of the new WiFi is good news for commuters, who will now enjoy enhanced reliability for leisure and work-related internet usage as well as for the diverse range of retailers at St Pancras International. For the latter, the new WiFi infrastructure will help attract new customers to the station, as well as provide a path to deliver high definition video advertising to potential consumers.
This announcement marks the beginning of a number of technological developments to take place at the station. In another train station first, St Pancras International is set to release an app in the next few months that will offer commuters access to special offers, the history of the station and local information.
Wendy Spinks, Commercial Director of HS1 Ltd, said:
“As a network we are always looking at how we can improve commuter’s journeys. With the latest figures showing that the number of people accessing the internet using a mobile phone has more than doubled between 2010 and 2013 – from 24% to 53% – now feels like the right time to install the service.
“Whether commuters are rushing to catch a train and want to download the latest film for their journey or find themselves in-between meetings with nowhere to work from, this new technology will completely change the way visitors can use their time in the station.”
Greg Smith, WIFI Metropolis, said:
“The objective of building a WiFi network with such great capacity and capability is to make even five minutes of access valuable. In a traditional public implementation, you can barely complete a connection in five Minutes – at St Pancras, when fully implemented, five minutes is a 2 hour movie, a few books, magazines and securely access your email.”
“This ambitious project would not be possible without the innovative commercial partnership HS1 has developed with WIFI Metropolis, which is designed to support the continued renewal of the WiFi technology. The absence of renewal has been the Achilles Heel of virtually every public WiFi project globally, which have suffered from technical obsolescence and no money to upgrade.”
For more information, please visit http://stpancras.com/ or http://www.wifimetropolis.com/To implement this major project, HS1 Ltd. and WIFI Metropolis selected Nomosphere for network design, access point provision and configuration, KYRON IT Networks and EXER Group for the deployment of the Arkoon/Netasq firewalls, UCOPIA Communications for its credentials management and access control solution and EuNetworks is supplying the 2 10Gb Fiber links.
About St Pancras International
Designed by William Barlow, St Pancras International originally opened in 1868 and for its time was an engineering marvel – it was the largest enclosed space in the world and provided the grandest entrance into London.
Almost 150 years later, after a £800m restoration project, St Pancras International reopened in 2007 and has set new standards for railway stations. Now it is much more than just a station, with more shops than any other railway station, its own fresh produce market, the longest Champagne Bar in Europe and a Gastro Pub. Following the recent opening of iconic store Fortnum and Mason in the station, 2014 will see St Pancras International retail offering developing with a number of significant new openings and refurbishments including John Lewis, Godiva, Benugo Espresso, and Hamleys.
More information on the launch of the St Pancras App will be available shortly
WIFI Metropolis is developing a global virtual WiFi network with seamless, secure, low/no cost, broadband wireless internet access leveraging existing WiFi infrastructure. This network is anchored by locations such as St. Pancras and the major train stations in France. This infrastructure is supported by advertising, content delivery, data offload, and location based services. WIFI Metropolis goal is to make its customers the centre of their own secure, global virtual WiFi network, no matter where they are located. WIFI Metropolis is based in the U.S. with operations in The Netherlands, France and now the U.K.
Other Parties Involved In Implementation
Kyron Solutions Informatiques