Passengers Now Free to Surf the Web As They Ride the Rails With Wi-Fi

The Jakarta Globe


Taking the train has always been one of the travel methods of choice for those unwilling to spend hours stuck in gridlock for the annual Idul Fitri hometown trek known as mudik . But now there’s another reason to go by rail: a Wi-Fi Internet connection.

State railway operator Kereta Api Indonesia said on Wednesday that it had outfitted all 82 executive-class trains serving its cross-Java routes with Wi-Fi. Seven key stations also have the facility.

“A working Internet connection is not an exclusive public facility anymore,” Sugeng Priyono, a KAI spokesman, told the Jakarta Globe.

“It’s become a necessity for people to get access to information. That’s why we wanted to improve our facilities by providing a Wi-Fi connection for passengers so they can have Internet access when traveling by train.”

Sugeng said that although Wi-Fi had been introduced for mudik, it would remain in place after the holidays as part of efforts by KAI to improve the commuting experience.

“It’s a long-term plan to improve our services to train passengers, and there’s a possibility that we’ll expand it to routes outside Java,” he said.

The railway operator introduced the Wi-Fi facility in cooperation with IM2, a private Internet service provider.

Indar Atmanto, president director of IM2, said the company had provided two wireless networks for the trains: IM2-KAI and INDOSATNet.

“The IM2-KAI network can be accessed for free by all users from any [Internet-enabled] gadget for Web browsing,” he said.

“However, it cannot be used to download files or watch or listen to streaming audio or video.”

The INDOSATNet option, meanwhile, has a higher bandwidth but is not free.

“INDOSATNet is a prepaid Internet connection, which costs Rp 0.5 per Mb, and it allows premium Internet connection facilities such as downloading,” Indar said.

The password to access the IM2-KAI network is indosatm2-kai. Those planning to use the INDOSATNet network need an existing IM2 account or they can buy a prepaid IM2 SIM card with Rp 10,000 or Rp 25,000 in credit.

The trains on which the service is already available are the Parahyangan line from Jakarta to Bandung; Sembrani and Bima (Jakarta-Surabaya); Taksaka (Jakarta-Yogyakarta); Argo Lawu (Jakarta-Solo); Sancaka (Surabaya-Yogyakarta); Jakarta-Semarang (Argo Muria); and the Argo Wilis line, from Surabaya to Bandung.

The participating stations are Gambir in Jakarta, Bandung Hall in the West Java capital, Tugu in Yogyakarta, Tawang in Semarang, Balapan in Solo and Turi and Gubeng in Surabaya.

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