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East Midlands Trains, part of the Stagecoach Group, has today (20 December 2012) announced it will be offering free WiFi for rail passengers across 30 of its stations including major hubs such as Nottingham, Sheffield, Derby and Leicester.
The deal with WiFi provider The Cloud will let customers access the internet via a dedicated, branded landing page where they will log-in and be able to browse the web, use social networks like Facebook and Twitter, and ultimately improve their travel experience. The service will be launched in 2013.
Recent research highlights the continued growth of mobile phones, with 85% of people using the internet on the go.* East Midlands Trains is adapting to this by ensuring its customers’ mobile needs are catered for. WiFi users will be directed to The Cloud Content Portal that includes a unique combination of the latest Sky News, Sky Sports News and live travel updates as well as access to the broader internet. The content portal also carries advertising space, giving brands a unique opportunity for location-based video advertising targeting commuters and other visitors during specific times of the day.
Vince Russell, MD at The Cloud, explains: “Rail stations are no longer just thoroughfares. With shops, cafes, bars and restaurants located at various stations now, East Midlands Trains customers are spending longer at each location and it’s vital they have the best possible mobile data service while they’re there.
“More and more people own devices such as tablets and they want to be able to use them without having to worry about network congestion, patchy coverage or exceeding their data limits, which is where our WiFi service comes in. It provides passengers with fast, reliable, free internet access allied with unique engaging content.”
East Midlands Trains provides fast and frequent services from major cities and towns in South Yorkshire, the East Midlands and Northamptonshire to London St Pancras and instant access to travel information is vital to its customers.
Neil Micklethwaite, Customer Service & Commercial Director at East Midlands Trains, said: “We already offer WiFi on our trains and in our first class lounges at stations. Now with The Cloud in place we will complete the WiFi package by adding all other areas to the mix, from platforms to retail and food & beverage venues. The Content Portal will be a particularly useful tool for customers as it provides a one-stop-shop of information, including London Underground travel updates – something that should be especially beneficial to those commuting in and out of the capital.
“This deal is all part of our £10 million investment project which aims to improve the customer experience at all of our stations. Adapting to the mobile boom by providing free WiFi to our customers is a key element of this.”
An estimated five million people every day pass through The Cloud network by visiting one of its partners, including major outlets like PizzaExpress, Caffè Nero, WH Smith, Eat, Greggs, Pret A Manger and Wagamama.