The cost of WiFi would've been a fair bit more than the 4G repeater setup. I'd rather the savings go into track maintenance and rolling stock....
Most likely, yes. I agree - out of scope for state-funded public transport. I think the VicFreeWiFi initiative (which has been my saving grace on some evenings at Southern Cross when mobile data isn't working) is a good middle ground for passengers needing data access.
At least in peak, just about everyone who needs WiFi will provide their own, or their employer will. Considering for most it's not an additional cost, it works quite well and I don't see any pressing need for a change.
My hotspot is often the only one using the 5 GHz band, so there's plenty of WiFi channel space left! Much more than there are seats
I haven't travelled on a Vlo for a while, but they were like riding in a Faraday cage - Only a powerful signal could punch through the metal box and metallic glazed windows. Huge amounts of data is no good if you can't get a signal...
You're right Rick, being not much better than the XPTs. In the suburbs (Geelong and Melbourne at least) they were still quite good, pre-repeaters. Carrier dependent of course. It was just out in the open country there would be large dropouts.
Since most of the government-funded mobile sites along the commuter corridors have come online, that situation has been rectified as well.
The other day, I was on a Vlo which did not have a functioning repeater (either out of order or simply switched off for that trip, I'm not sure) and all the major gaps were filled on the Geelong line. Still noticeable weak spots though due to the faraday effect.