News

The Day That Icomera Signed up with the Santa Clara VTA …

(12 Jan 2017, BWCS Staff)
Quick off the blocks in the New Year, Icomera has announced that the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority has renewed its deal with the Swedish/UK technology supplier to provide WiFi, mobile network solutions and general ongoing support. The US transport operator runs a large fleet of light rail trains and buses in the beating heart of Silicon Valley. According to its own figures it serves some 43 million passengers annually on its three light rail lines and 70 bus routes. Icomera, which began work with the San Jose-based organisation back in 2011, has installed WiFi kit on all of the ......

Alstom to buy Nomad

(21 Dec 2016, BWCS Staff)
One of the pioneers of on-train WiFi services, Nomad Digital, is to be bought by French transport group Alstom. A press statement from the Newcastle-based supplier said the deal could go through within weeks. Alstom, based in Saint-Ouen in France confirmed it has signed a purchase agreement to acquire Nomad Holdings, which trades as Nomad Digital. However, the cost of the take-over has not been revealed. The UK supplier, which is currently owned by Amadeus Capital Partners, SEB Venture Capital and Deutsche Telekom Strategic Investments among others, employs some 230 people and earlier this ......

France to (Finally) get WiFi on Trains

(15 Dec 2016, BWCS Staff)
French national train operator, SNCF, has today officially launched passenger WiFi services on its high-speed Paris-Lyon route. The long-expected on-board service will initially be available on 19 of the company’s fleet of 300 high-speed trains, with the remainder being added during 2017. Coverage on the Lyon line will later be extended to routes from the capital to Bordeaux, Lille, Strasbourg, Rennes and Marseilles. Earlier this year, following a series of extensive tests and trials, SNCF selected 21net and ENGIE Ineo to supply, install and manage the WiFi system on its TGV fleet. ......

RM Uses Axinom on Russian High-Speed Trains

(25 Nov 2016, BWCS Staff)
Russian Infotainment system provider RM LLC has chosen Axinom to build a new digital platform for the Russian high-speed Sapsan trains. The Russian company had contracted Axinom to help provide on-board entertainment services including streaming films, magazines, and music, as well as on board shopping, promotions and advertising to travellers on the 3 hours 40 minutes journey between Moscow and St Petersburg, and the 3 hours 55 minutes trek to Nizhny Novgorod. Axinom points out that its platform covers the full end-to-end media workflow including content management, digital rights ......

UK Government under Pressure to Legislate for Higher Train WiFi Speeds

(22 Nov 2016, BWCS Staff)
Louise Haigh, Labour’s digital economy spokeswoman, has pushed the UK government to commit to fast rail broadband through legislation. According to reports in The Guardian newspaper, the MP for Sheffield Heeley is planning to table an amendment to the UK’s Digital Economy Bill, which is due to return to the House of Commons floor next week. The move came during a debate in the UK parliament over the government’s stipulation that all train companies bidding for rail franchises in the future must include WiFi as part of their pitch. In the discussion, Matt Hancock, the ......

New Kit Boosts Amtrak On-Board WiFi as Track Trial Expands

(21 Nov 2016, BWCS Staff)
As many Americans prepare to travel home for Thanksgiving (and try not to mention the election over the dinner table) national train company Amtrak has again been working hard on upgrading its on-board WiFi service. The latest portion of its sprawling 21,000 mile network to be boosted is the flagship Acela fleet running between Washington and Boston. Amtrak officials said that the new system, which replaces much of the kit first installed back in 2010, will mean that download speeds on board will be up to six times faster. Further down the line, upgrades are planned for all Northeast ......

On the Buses …

(16 Nov 2016, BWCS Staff)
Better known for its on-train WiFi services, UK/Swedish technology company Icomera has signed a deal to supply 4G WiFi to National Express coaches across Britain. At the same time, long-term collaborator, GoMedia, will supply Infotainment content to the same bus passengers. This will include films, catch-up TV, games and more. National Express said that the WiFi and entertainment services will be available on some coaches later this month, with full roll-out to all 622 buses expected to be complete by the summer of next year. The transport company said that the new VUER (View, Unwind, Enjoy, ......

The Train in Spain to get WiFi (in the Main)

(07 Nov 2016, BWCS Staff)
Spanish national train operator Renfe has been giving details about its much-vaunted plan to launch WiFi services on board the company’s high-speed AVE trains. The first route to benefit will be Madrid-Seville with the system due to go live on December 5th this year. The Barcelona-Madrid route is due to go into operation by April next year, with all 89 trains on the network connected by the end of 2017. AVE trains currently service five of Spain’s major cities, Madrid, Seville, Malaga, Barcelona, and Valencia. RNFE signed a ten-year contract with Telefonica to supply the on-train ......

Kazak Rail Steppes Up With New WiFi System

(01 Nov 2016, BWCS Staff)
Kazakhstan Railways (KTZ) has launched a trial WiFi service on board trains running along one of its most popular routes (Astana – Borovoye). The system is part of a pilot project to provide wireless broadband services on all of the operator’s trains using a single network. KTZ has employed the services of InfiNet Wireless, based in Malta but with a large research and development facility in Yekaterinburg in Russia, to install the trial equipment and manage the system. According to the train company, tests so far have shown the system capable of reaching download speeds of up to ......

GBS On-Train WiFi Gets Green Light in Utah

(24 Oct 2016, BWCS Staff)
US-based systems integrator The GBS Group has been given the go-ahead to roll out its cellular/trackside passenger WiFi solution on all FrontRunner trains operated by the Utah Transit Authority (UTA). The move follows extensive testing of the system on lines running out of Salt Lake City. The initial contract was signed late last year. UTA operates 45 miles of light rail in Salt Lake County and 90 miles of commuter rail from Salt Lake City to destinations in Utah and Weber counties. Last year its ridership totalled over 46.6 million, however, this figure also included passengers on the 600 ......

Free WiFi on Delhi Airport Express Takes Off

(17 Oct 2016, BWCS Staff)
Commuters using the Airport Express Metro Line in Delhi can now enjoy free and unlimited WiFi services at all of its six stations. However, the new service is merely a prelude to the introduction of WiFi on all trains and platforms in the Delhi Metro system, which is expected to happen by the middle of next year. The new service, called “Oui DMRC Free WiFi”, can be accessed by entering a mobile number and then typing in the auto-generated One Time Password. According to Delhi Metro Rail Corporation managing director, Mangu Singh, quoted in The Hindu newspaper, “WiFi will be ......

Luxembourg to Trial WiFi on Trains

(10 Oct 2016, BWCS Staff)
The national train operator in Luxembourg, Société Nationale des Chemins de Fer Luxembourgeois (CFL), is to test out WiFi on a number of its services. Reports in the daily Luxembourger Wort newspaper say that Infrastructure Minister, François Bausch, plans to kick-start a pilot scheme involving some of the new double-decker KISS trains that CFL is due to take delivery of next year. According to Bausch, the new trains will be fitted with WiFi and 3G/4G repeaters. The train company, which already uses this type of train on much of its 270km of track, said it will then test the WiFi service for ......

And Fluidmesh / Cisco Too …

(03 Oct 2016, BWCS Staff)
No sooner had we reported from the airy halls of Innotrans on the growing array of track-side wireless solutions on offer, than Fluidmesh got in touch. The US/Italian technology company, which was also well represented at the Berlin bun-fight, is keen to ensure that its new systems and its new partnership with networking giant Cisco do not get overlooked. Before Berlin, where it officially announced its tie-up with Cisco and the US giant’s Connected Train solution, Fluidmesh had successfully demonstrated its two new wireless products, aimed squarely at the mass transit market, in a ......

Denmark in Break-Through, Government Scheme to Improve On-Train Reception

(29 Sep 2016, BWCS Staff)
The Danish government is to pour DKKr100 million (€13.4 million) into improving mobile and internet connections on trains. In a break-through scheme, the money will be used to expand rail administrator Banedanmark’s national network of radio-masts at up to 75 track-side locations. Announcing the investment, Transport and Construction Minister, Hans Christian Schmidt, said “I am very pleased that we have now started a project to improve mobile and Internet penetration in our trains. I know that many people - especially commuters - spend time on the train to work, and a more ......

Nomad Jumps On Board With Train Cargo Company

(20 Sep 2016, BWCS Staff)
UK on-train technology company Nomad Digital has been signed up to a five year deal to supply on-board remote condition monitoring systems to DB Cargo, the company formerly known as DB Schenker Rail. The condition monitoring units will be installed across a DB Cargo fleet of 90 locomotives operating internationally, with completion targeted for the end of this year. According to Nomad, the deal follows on from a successful one-year trial of the technology by DB. The Newcastle-based company said that the ROCM system will provide access to real-time condition and diagnostic-based information ......

Pakistan Railways Heading for Free WiFi

(19 Sep 2016, BWCS Staff)
Pakistan Railways has revealed some more detail about its plans to introduce WiFi on its long-distance passenger trains.  Speaking at the weekend, Rail Minister Khawaja Saad Rafique, reported that he has formed a committee to thrash out the details of the scheme over the next few weeks. In addition to putting free WiFi on the trains, the Minister said that Pakistan Railways will also be installing hotspots at all major stations. As part of its modernisation drive, the train company is also planning to introduce e-ticketing services. According to reports in the local press an agreement ......

New Midlands Trains to get Free WiFi

(31 Aug 2016, BWCS Staff)
The UK Department for Transport has announced a raft of new services, including on-train WiFi, will be offered by the yet-to-be-announced new train operator for the Midlands region. The current incumbent, London Midland, is expected to be moved on by October of next year. However, the new free WiFi is not mandated to appear until 2019. An extra 300 Sunday services are also slated to appear by 2021, as part of a major shake-up to services across the region. Changes will also see Wolverhampton Station transferred from Virgin Trains to another company. Councillor Daniel Warren, who sits on ......

Pakistan Expands WiFi on Trains

(09 Aug 2016, BWCS Staff)
Some four years after the first trains fitted with WiFi appeared in the country, Pakistan looks set to roll out services nationally on long-distance trains. In what some commentators see as a break-through move, Pakistan’s Minister for Railways, Khawaja Saad Rafique, yesterday directed that provision for Internet access and WiFi facilities be made available on trains and at all railways stations. Speaking after a high-level meeting in Lahore, Rafique said he was instructing Pakistan Railways to prepare a model for implementation as soon as possible. The Minister issued directives to ......

Seamless WiFi System Introduced by Chiltern

(25 Jul 2016, BWCS Staff)
Chiltern Railways has today launched what it is calling “seamless” passenger WiFi. The new service, provided by long-time collaborator Icomera and new partner WiFiSpark, enables passengers to skip from train WiFi to station WiFi (or vice versa) without missing a beat, or having to reconnect their devices. According to the Arriva-owned train operator, passengers using any of the 28 stations along the Birmingham Moor Street to London Marylebone route can now log onto the WiFi service whilst waiting for their train and not have to go through the process again once on-board. When the ......
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