T-Mobile Germany will provide Deutsche Bahnís "rail&mail" service. The Deutsche Bahn has to date itself provided its customers wireless Internet access in 12 DB Lounges across Germany. In the future, this service will be operated by Deutsche Telekomís mobile subsidiary, T-Mobile Germany.
Since the end of 2002, Deutsche Bahn has equipped its DB Lounges in 12 major train stations with WLAN technology, receivin a positive response, particularly from business travelers. The Railnet project, which was unveiled at CeBIT 2005, will see Deutsche Bahn in a partnership with T-Mobile.
T-Mobile says that the conversion of the DB Lounges to T-Mobile HotSpots will make wireless Internet communications simpler and less expensive for travelers. The prices for this service will be the same as for the other 5,000 plus T-Com and T-Mobile HotSpots in Germany.
DB customers who still have "rail&mail" vouchers can exchange them. Users will receive a coupon for one hour of Internet access good in all T-Com and T-Mobile HotSpots for each unused one-hour voucher valued at Ä3.95. These coupons can be obtained in the DB Lounges. Valid "rail&mail" vouchers worth Ä29.95 will be exchanged in the Lounges for HotSpot vouchers valid in the same amount and for the same amount of time. Both exchange offers end on June 30, 2005.
As part of the Railnet project, Deutsche Bahn and T-Mobile will bring WLAN technology to additional sites. This summer, 20 major train stations will become new T-Mobile HotSpots. Wireless Internet access will then be available to travelers in all public areas in these DB train stations. A large portion of Frankfurt/Mainís main train station has already been WLAN-enabled in preparation for the FIFA Confederations Cup in Germany in 2005.
Work is already underway on bringing online communications to moving trains. In a pilot project, Deutsche Bahn and T-Mobile will test the technical and economic feasibility of this concept on the Cologne-Dortmund route by the end of this year.