News

Internet on China’s High-Speed Trains gets Huge Boost

(20 Jun 2018, BWCS Staff)
Chinese Internet giant Tencent and domestic car maker Geely have won the bidding for a 49% stake in EMU Network Technology Co, a spin off from China Railways providing WiFi on trains. According to XinhuaNet news service the pair’s joint bid puts them in the driving seat to start growing and garnering advertising revenues on the trackside network.  No financial terms were revealed by XinhuaNet. However, according to a filing on the China Beijing Equity Exchange, reported by Reuters, the winning bid submitted for the stake was 4.3 billion yuan (US$672.52 million). Back in April of ......

Argentine Railway Plumps for RADWIN’s Train-to-Ground Wireless Broadband Solution

(06 Jun 2018, BWCS Staff)
Wireless broadband provider RADWIN, today announced that the Argentine Railway (Ferrocarriles Argentinos), the 8th largest railway in the world, has chosen RADWIN’s FiberinMotion® train-to-ground solution after a successful proof-of-concept. RADWIN states that its FiberinMotion® is geared to enhance security and safety on board the Argentine Railway’s passenger trains. The multi-service platform will support mission-critical CCTV and VoIP applications and is future-proof to support onboard Wi-Fi service. Project deployment includes coverage of the Buenos Aires - La Plata ......

Russian-India J-V to Help Delhi Metro On-Train WiFi Make Money

(01 Jun 2018, BWCS Staff)
Over the years the Train Communications Systems Conference has brought together many partners. We like to think that our speed dating sessions have seen the first flutterings of many a burgeoning relationship. Whether or not this is the case with the latest pairing to emerge in this sector, we don’t know, all we can say is that both parties have attended in the past…   This week, the news emerged that MaximaTelecom, the Moscow-based Wi-Fi ad-based monetization company, and TechnoSatComm (TSC), an Indian transport telecoms company, have entered into a strategic partnership ......

BART Trains to get WiFi but it Ain’t Happening Anytime Soon …

(25 May 2018, BWCS Staff)
The long-promised arrival of WiFi on BART trains on the West Coast of the USA has finally moved a step closer to reality. However, long-suffering travellers have told the San Jose Mercury News that they are not counting on a solution arriving imminently. The board of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is due to approve an exclusive negotiating agreement with Mobilitie Management, LLC, today. Under the terms of the deal, the new company will be allowed to provide WiFi at BART stations and on trains. The agreement also includes cell services for Muni Metro ......

UK Government Promises “Vast Improvement for WiFi” in New Digital Rail Strategy

(10 May 2018, BWCS Staff)
Amid much fanfare and hullaballoo, Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, and Network Rail CEO, Mark Carne, stood together at York Station today to formally launch Network Rail’s Digital Railway Strategy. Reading from the same hymn sheet, the pair promised that all new trains and signalling in the UK will be digital or “digital ready” from 2019. Amongst a slew of ambitious targets, the strategy promises to “Enable vastly improved mobile and WiFi connectivity, so that passengers can make the most of their travel time and communities close to the railway can connect more ......

Nomad Goes Underground – in Canada

(20 Apr 2018, BWCS Staff)
UK-based on-Train WiFi company Nomad Digital has won a major contract to supply wireless internet kit to a Canadian Metro operator. The deal comes on the back of Nomad’s parent company, Alstom, signing a landmark deal with the Canadian capital’s transport agency. According to Nomad, it will provide the kit to enable passengers to access the internet via mobile phones, tablets and laptop devices while travelling underground.   Historically, providing WiFi services on urban underground train systems has been fraught with difficulty – largely due to the wireless ......

Rival Tech Giants Prepare Bids of US$500 million for On-Train WiFi in China

(18 Apr 2018, BWCS Staff)
The gloves are well and truly off in the battle for supremacy in the World’s largest market for WiFi on trains. According to reports in Forbes Magazine, tech giant Tencent is preparing to pay a staggering US$500 million to buy 49% of EMU Network Technology Co – which currently has a monopoly on offering WiFi on board all China Rail Corp trains. However, it is likely to face competition from fellow Chinese Internet giant Alibaba, also said to be eyeing a bid for the China Rail network company. The huge fee reflects the sizeable potential that Tencent, which is also ......

App, App and Away … for Indian Railways

(03 Apr 2018, BWCS Staff)
Indian Railways is reportedly taking a leap down the digital track by developing over 200 mobile phone applications aimed at tourists, travellers and staff. The giant train operator says it is helping to move the government’s Digital India Programme forward by preparing so many new mobile services.   However, the company has faced criticism from some quarters for complicating the issue and not launching a single app aimed at all users. Defenders of the new programme argue that by launching a wide range of applications it can sieve out those that work well and are popular ......

French Giant Snaps up 21net

(07 Mar 2018, BWCS Staff)
Alstom is to buy 21net - one of the first companies to venture into the WiFi on trains space. According to a short company announcement, the French transport giant has signed a purchase agreement for the acquisition of 21net from the Innovacom fund and other investors. 21net, which boasted a turnover of around €16 million in 2017 supplies on-board connectivity solutions based on multiple technologies such as satellite, cellular and high-speed wireless from trackside antennas. It is headquartered in the UK and has subsidiaries in Belgium, France, Italy and India. The pioneering ......

Tickets for WiFi on Trains Conference – Selling Like Hot-cakes as Europe Freezes

(01 Mar 2018, BWCS Staff)
As a subscriber to our WiFi on Trains News-list, I just wanted to let you know that we have all the speakers lined up for this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference – Train Communications Systems 2018 (London, June 6th and 7th). The full programme is now online and available to downloaded at www.Traincomms2018.com As ever, we have focused on getting train operators, from all over the world to share their real-life stories of putting WiFi onto their trains, fighting to keep the customers happy and struggling to add new services and increase bandwidth. The main European and UK train ......

Virgin Reveals West Coast WiFi Refit Plans

(26 Feb 2018, BWCS Staff)
Virgin Trains says it plans to spend £7.5 million refitting its West Coast fleet in order to offer “improved” on-board WiFi. The investment will see new wireless kit installed on each of its 56 of the company’s West Coast mainline Pendolinos. This, Virgin, says will allow it to eventually offer all of its passengers access to on-train WiFi. The new money is part of a deal with the UK government which will see Virgin continue to run the franchise until March 2019, with the possibility of a further extension after that, before the franchise goes to tender again. The ......

Arriva Train Wales Launches WiFi on Remaining Trains

(15 Feb 2018, BWCS Staff)
Welsh train operator, Arriva Train Wales, has fulfilled a promise to its passengers and completed the launch of WiFi on all of its trains. Phase One of its roll-out began in 2016, partly funded by a £2.5 million injection from the Department for Transport. The initial project saw passenger internet facilities installed on 87 of the company’s trains that crisscross the region. Now the company has added WiFi to the remaining services. Following Westminster’s funding of the initial stages, the Welsh Government put its hand into its pocket and found a further £1.5 million ......

Capturing Commuter Commerce – Online on Train Lines

(13 Feb 2018, BWCS Staff)
The spending power of the UK’s growing band of train commuters has been highlighted by some new research from KBH Media. The London-based, on-board advertising specialists found that 88% of train passengers use their smart-phones at least once during an average journey – with a third of all riders checking their device “every couple of minutes”.  This modern phenomena, coupled with the increasingly improved WiFi on trains and the number of retailers investing in properly mobile-optimised sites and apps, has led to a boom in ‘commuter commerce’, KBH ......

Passengers Satisfied with “Ghost” Train WiFi Service

(02 Feb 2018, BWCS Staff)
Around one fifth of passengers on Southeastern trains say they are happy with the WiFi service available on-board. However, this figure must come as a pleasant surprise to the operator, as it has yet to introduce WiFi on any of its 350 trains that run on 1,000 miles of track in Kent, London and Sussex.   As the Kent Online website points out, 18% of Southeastern passengers who took part in a national poll said they were “satisfied” with WiFi on-board service – despite the fact that it doesn’t exist yet. In fact, this figure is not that far below the national ......

Train Operators from Around the World to Discuss Future Path of On-Train WiFi at June Conference

(29 Jan 2018, BWCS Staff)
BWCS is delighted to announce a roster of major speakers for this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference – Train Communications Systems 2018 (London, 6th and 7th of June). A host of train operating companies, rail administrators and suppliers will convene at a five star London Hotel this summer over two days to debate how best to address passengers’ insatiable demand for fast and reliable on-board WiFi connections. “On-Train passenger WiFi service is now a must-have for almost all operators” argues Graham Wilde CEO of BWCS, “the problem is, any company failing ......
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