On the heels of announcements by Amtrak that they'll be upgrading their notoriously iffy on-train Wi-Fi service, Greyhound now says they'll be improving Wi-Fi options on their busses in order to upscale a travel option that's traditionally seen as rather downscale. According to the Los Angeles Times the company is launching a pilot of a system developed by Lufthansa Systems that will allow users to watch television, movies, listen to music or browse the Internet.
Pricing hasn't been set yet, and the pilot is only currently underway on the company's "premium" (that term is used rather loosely) Greyhound Express service running between Dallas and Houston. Traditionally, Sprint has used Sprint for their Wi-Fi connections, and like most in-flight systems, the Lufthansa video solution likely accesses content stored on bus servers.
The problem? As with train Wi-Fi services, the fact that so many people have a connection in their pocket (aka a smartphone) that's probably more reliable than the congested and intermittent LTE connection feeding your bus/train makes these investments potential a waste of dough for the transportation companies involved, and a headache for those trying to use them.
Greyhound WiFi internet using 3G/4G cell connections
It hasn't been spelled out in any of the news releases by Greyhound, but the "internet access part" of the onboard entertainment experience uses 3G/4G cellphone access to provide connectivity. A bus full of people using WiFi to access the internet, as opposed to the videos & music media server onboard the bus, will see slow access. If they want internet access, they are better off using their own devices cellphone connection. If they want to watch video from the onboard media server, by all means WiFi is the way to go. -- "If you want to anger a conservative lie to him. If you want to anger a liberal tell him the truth."
Assuming this works the same as Lufthansa aircraft systems, it's a combo of stored content (magazines, movies, music, maps shopping etc.) with some 3g/4g enhancement (ie some services may be limited) and or INTERNET connectivity may be extra. It's mainly about the Wi'Fi allowing passengers to use their own device instead of the seatback screens on airplanes and buses are just low flying/cheap aircraft (potentially faster for short haul city pairs)
Amtrak's Wolverine line (Detroit to Chicago) doesn't have wifi, is never on time for arrivals or departures, and has an accident at least every other month. Government waste and incompetency at its finest.
Megabus usually has WiFi. They've been eating Greyhound's lunch with cheaper rates and better times.
The company that owns/operates MEGA actually is operating a good share of the GreyHound network. Look on the back of the bus and you'll see the same company's name. They're a huge company and operate a majority of the buses in the US.
"Traditionally, Sprint has used Sprint for their Wi-Fi connections..."
But what about Greyhound?
They used Amtrack.
2013-Jul-10 2:17 am: ·
fuziwuzi Not born yesterday Premium join:2005-07-01 Atlanta, GA
In the last year, Shanghai has installed Wi-Fi on their city buses and most of the Metro subway system. It works rather well, and as long as I use VPN on my cellphone, I can use Facebook and email and watch Youtube videos easily. As I look around, almost everyone onboard has their phone or tablet out and probably connected (since data plans are notoriously expensive).
How do they do it so well when we can't? -- Teabaggers: Destroying America is Priority #1
Would people that are riding a Greyhound bus really all have a smartphone? In a pinch, I for sure would be dropping my smartphone before I'd give up personal transportation and ride the bus.
I can see some people having flip or brick phones and an iPad or Kindle that would appreciate this service.
2013-Jul-10 12:11 pm: ·
Sarah Premium,ExMod 2002-05 join:2001-01-09 New York, NY kudos:6
Re: Would they though?
Most of the people I've seen using the wifi on the bus are college kids with iPads and laptops. Lots of students travel by bus. Kids at urban schools in New York and Boston don't generally have cars. -- My music blog
It is interesting to note that there is an annual study done at DePaul University in Chicago that reported in 2011/2012 only 0.6% of bus passengers carried Tablets. Even if you double that to include laptops (I think that's a huge over estimation) you can see that an almost infinitesimally small number of Greyhound riders will have an appropriate device to even think about watching TV or movies on.