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Thalys' cross-border trains will allow passengers to access Wi-Fi broadband, it has been reported.

The service will be introduced by 2008 and will be available on the firm's high-speed services between Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Cologne - making the train company the first to offer Wi-Fi broadband on a cross-border high-speed train.

Implementation of the service will be undertaken by Nokia Siemens networks, 21Net and Telent, the Register reports.

To ensure uninterrupted connection, the communication system will switch to 3G mobile networks when trains travel through tunnels, with stops at railroad stations seeing the service switching to Wi-Fi hotspots provided by Thalys.

Initial trials of the bi-directional satellite-based technology will begin next month, and once operational will be available to passengers in the trains' Comfort 1 and Comfort 2 carriages.

As well as internet access, Thalys passengers will be able to access information regarding connecting trains, travel destinations and entertainment services, such as online gaming and video on-demand.
Prices for the service are as yet unconfirmed.

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