Free Wireless on the Bullet Bus
People on the move between Tokyo and Osaka can now hop a luxury bus service which conveniently includes speedy wireless access. These red-eye express coaches offer riders 802.11b/g connectivity via IIJ and DoCoMo networks with power access and Business Class seats for about $100usd, a notable savings compared to taking the Shinkansen. While commuter buses are usually designed to carry up to 40 passengers, these new Eco-Friendly hybrid gas and electric powered chariots are configured with only 16 large comfortable reclining vibro-seats. Talk about flying first class on the ground!
According to this article [J] when passengers board, if they request WAN access, they are required to complete a simple application form including ID in order to get a WEP key. Connectivity was basically constant with several ping tests coming back at 1Mbps. As most business folks are increasingly tied to a netbook which likely came bundled with a USB dongle and monthly flat-rate account, that certainly came in handy on our recent highway travels, it would seem demand for this extra service will likely become increasingly redundant. However, that would certainly be handy for the tourists!