News

Swiss Train Operator to Help Passengers Get Free Mobile Data Connections On-Board

(19 Oct 2018, BWCS Staff)
It seems that we jumped the gun last week in announcing that Swiss train operator SBB would be offering a trial of new, free, on-board WiFi services. In fact, the story is more complex than that. Due mainly to the excellent 4G coverage along the Swiss rail network – 97% due to rise to 99% in two years and to the number of trains that already have 3G and 4G mobile signal amplifiers fitted, the company has decided not to offer WiFi at all on its domestic routes. Instead passengers will have to rely on their own mobile data connections if they wish to surf the Internet whilst on ......

3.6Gbps Needed for Local Train Connectivity by 2025 – Says Ofcom

(17 Oct 2018, BWCS Staff)
UK telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has issued a report defining what it believes needs to be done in order to meet the government’s demands for much greater connectivity on the UK rail system. According to the report, within seven years, crowded commuter trains in and out of major British cities will require up to 3.6Gbps of mobile data connectivity to keep passengers happy. The dossier stems from a request made last December by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). In its letter the DCMS tasked the regulator with providing technical analysis of the likely future ......

Slovenia Settles on Train WiFi Supplier

(12 Oct 2018, BWCS Staff)
The state-owned railway company of Slovenia, Slovenske Železnice, says it has completed a tender for the supply of on-board WiFi services for some of its trains. SŽ Potniški Promet, the passenger service wing of the company, had asked for bids regarding the supply and installation of WiFi equipment on board 32 of its trains. Despite having only kicked off the process in August of this year, SŽ announced this week that the process is now complete. In the end, there was only bidder that fitted the criteria. A consortium of Telekom Slovenije, SRC and Verso Network Technologies has therefore won ......

Pakistan Railways to Offer Free On-board WiFi in 3 Months

(10 Oct 2018, BWCS Staff)
Pakistan Railways says it is poised to launch WiFi on its trains across the country within 100 days. The country’s Minister for Railways, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, a long-time fan of on-board Internet connectivity claimed this week - “Initially, all passenger trains will have the facility of WiFi and tracking and after that these facilities will also be given in the freight trains.” According to the Ministry, around 60% of the work needed to make the WiFi on Board project a reality has already been carried out. The government has said that much of the software and related ......

WiFi Cross the Mersey (Rail)

(04 Oct 2018, BWCS Staff)
Liverpool-based UK train operator, Merseyrail, has announced that passengers on board the new Stadler-delivered trains will soon have free internet access. The new fleet, which is due to go into service in 2020, will be able to connect up on all 75 miles of the city-based rail system. This includes around eight miles of tunnels. The new wireless system that will enable all this to happen, is being installed by global electronics giant Panasonic. Underground stations such as Hamilton Square, Liverpool Central and Moorfields will also be hooked up. As well as offering WiFi on board, the ......

WiFi On-Train Means Commute Time Should Count as Part of Working Day, Argues New Study

(04 Sep 2018, BWCS Staff)
Britain’s long-suffering commuters should be able to count time spent working on WiFi-enabled trains as part of their working day, according to a new study by the University of the West of England. The Bristol-based academics reported on a survey of 5,000 passengers which formed one of the first major studies on the impact of on-train WiFi in the UK. Dr Juliet Jain, Dr Billy Clayton and Dr Caroline Bartle examined the uptake of free WiFi on two of Chiltern Railways' major routes - London/Birmingham and London/Aylesbury - to see how passengers use free internet provision on their ......

Government Issues Call for Information as it Mulls Spending £35 Million on Trackside Trials

(17 Aug 2018, BWCS Staff)
The UK Government has issued a Call for Information connected to the Trans Pennine Initiative and aimed at improving on-train passenger connectivity. The move follows last year’s announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in the Autumn budget, that there would be funds provided to build a 5G Trials and Test Bed at the Rail Innovation Development Centre (RIDC) at Melton Mowbray and to conduct a mobile connectivity trial along the Trans Pennine route.  According to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, it intends to use part of the £35 million funding ......

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 ......
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