Cell signal on Gautrain a sore point

Cellular companies still need to improve 3G connectivity on Gautrain says local businessman and commuters

August 5, 2011

While government circles claim the Gautrain had a successful send-off on Tuesday, with 11 000 commuters travelling on the super-fast train, a local businessman has challenged the major cellular companies to improve their services to offer uninterrupted 3G services , believing  3G suppliers have done no planning around the Gautrain route yet.

“The Gautrain is expected to cut road traffic between Pretoria and Johannesburg by 20%, but this could be even better if uninterrupted 3G reception could be offered to business commuters,” said Christopher Riley, MD of notebook and accessories retailer, The Notebook Company.

“If 3G reception was uninterrupted it could improve its popularity further. But reception is still patchy,” he said.

One recent traveler, calling himself William, said: “I use my iPad on the train, but there is no signal in the tunnels. Not such a big issue, but it would still be nice to have.”

Another traveler, who posted a report under the name “Flea”, said: “Why it takes you longer to connect than it does to get to your destination… ha, ha, ha. Great ad for Gautrain. Ha ha ha..”

“Some of the comment are just not complimentary,” said Riley. Vodacom, Cell C and MTN should really focus on this issue.”

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