Paris: 4G launches on RER C but Metro users forced to wait

If you're someone who commutes on RER C there was good news for you on Tuesday as 3G and 4G access officially launched on the popular Paris commuter line. But Metro users will have to wait.

Paris: 4G launches on RER C but Metro users forced to wait
Photo: AFP
Commuters can now access the internet between the RER C stations Bibliotheque François Mitterrand in the south east of the city and Saint-Ouen to the north.
That means in theory, they should be able to browse the internet whilst travelling through 18km of tunnels under the city.
France's national rail company SNCF has said it will help to guarantee “better information and more responsiveness” in the event of any travel disruptions as users can now follow the RER C Twitter account in real time and receive notifications from the mobile application.
Meanwhile, the capital's transport network RATP is working on launching 4G across the whole of the Metro by 2019 despite passengers initially being promised that they would be able to access the internet across the network by the end of 2017. 
At the moment, passengers on the Metro can access the internet at just 120 stations with the date for full access pushed back due to technical issues. 

Revealed: Where are all the toilets on the Paris Metro and RER

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France to roll out ID cards app

Technology is being rolled out to allow people to carry their French ID cards in an app form - and could be rolled out to other cards, including driving licences and cartes de séjour residency cards.

France to roll out ID cards app

Holders of French carte d’identité (ID cards) will soon be able to carry certified digital versions of them on their smartphone or other electronic devices, a decree published in the Journal Officiel has confirmed.

An official app is being developed for holders of the newer credit card-format ID cards that have information stored on a chip. A provisional test version of the app is expected at the end of May.

Users will be able to use the ID card app, when it becomes available, for a range of services “from checking in at the airport to renting a car”, according to Thierry Breton, EU Commissioner for the Internal Market.

All French citizens have an ID card, which can be used for proving identity in a range of circumstances and for travel within the EU and Schengen zone – the new app will be in addition to the plastic card that holders already have.

Under the plans, after downloading the app, card holders will need merely to hold the card close to their phone to transfer the required information. According to officials, the holder then can decide what information is passed on – such as proof of age, or home address – according to the situation.

The government has not given any examples of situations in which the app would need to be used, but has set out the main principles and the ambition of the plan: to allow everyone to identify themselves and connect to certain public and private organisations, in particular those linked to the France Connect portal.

READ ALSO What is France Connect and how could it make your life simpler?

Cards will continue to be issued for the foreseeable future – this is merely an extension of the existing system.

Only French citizens have ID cards, but if successful the app is expected to be rolled out to include other cards, such as driving licences, cartes de séjour residency cards or even visas. A digital wallet is being developed at the European level – Member States have until September to agree what it could contain.

READ ALSO Eight smartphone apps that make life in France a bit easier