News


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Huge Passenger Survey Underlines Importance of On-Board Connectivity

(25 Nov 2021, BWCS Staff)
Demand for decent data connnections on public transport is stronger than ever claims a wide-ranging new study commissioned by BAI Communications. According to the report, support for the idea of governments investing in wireless and fibre network infrastructure is at record levels. In fact, some 93% of respondents backed this idea. The study, which is based on over 2,500 interviews with subway, light rail, bus and ferry passengers in five major cities, is one of the most comprehensive, recently produced investigations into passenger attitudes. A clear majority of the respondents, who were......

Italy to Boost WiFi on HS Trains and Roll Out Service to Regional Trains

(19 Nov 2021, BWCS Staff)
Italian State Railways has announced ambitious plans to improve and later expand WiFi services on board trains. Speaking on Thursday, Luigi Ferraris, the Managing Director of Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, highlighted plans for 2022, which include the enhancement of WiFi connectivity on high-speed trains to enable passengers to work whilst travelling. At the same time, Snr Ferraris underlined how keen his company is to expand the current WiFi services to also cover regional trains. In total, FS Italiane will launch a fleet of 238 new trains on regional services – over the coming......

Vancouver Moves Closer to Free WiFi on All Public Transport

(20 Oct 2021, BWCS Staff)
The City of Vancouver is on track to be one of the first cities in the world to offer free WiFi connections to passengers on all modes of its transit services. Translink, Metro Vancouver’s transportation authority responsible for transporting travellers across 21 municipalities, said this week that it has launched free WiFi for customers on six RapidBuses and on three SkyTrains, at Edmonds Station, and at Carvolth Exchange. The move by Translink and its partners Shaw Communications, marks the start of a system-wide rollout that should be complete by 2026. Eventually, the service will......

Delhi Metro and TSC Boost Free WiFi at Stations - Plans to Expand to Trains Next Year

(18 Oct 2021, BWCS Staff)
The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) yesterday announced the launch of free, high-speed WiFi at all 37 stations on its Yellow Line. The service, which is being rolled out across the entire DMRC system, is provided by a consortium headed by Techno Sat Comm and will eventually be available on all Metro trains as well as stations. Delhi Metro serves a population of 11.2 million and is, by some way, the largest and most modern metro rail system in India. It spans 250km of track and boasts some 170 stations. Prior to the Yellow Line launch, the TSC-led consortium had installed WiFi on the......

BAI Adds Mobilitie and More WiFi on Trains Contracts to Growing Portfolio

(15 Oct 2021, BWCS Staff)
BAI Communications has continued its relentless expansion in the world of on-train WiFi. This week it completed the take-over of Mobilitie, a large US telecoms infrastructure owner. News of the agreement had first been leaked back in June of this year. Asa result of the deal, BAI has taken on Mobilitie’s portfolio of assets, which span telecoms infrastructure contracts with transit operators in San Francisco and Seattle, as well as 220 large public venues’ DAS networks, 10,000 small cells and 300 tower sites across the US. Clearly this portfolio, plus the team of experts that......

Super-Fast WiFi Hits Seoul Subway

(29 Sep 2021, BWCS Staff)
The Science Ministry in South Korea, in conjunction with the country’s three major mobile companies, has launched a trial 28GHz public WiFi service on select subway trains in Seoul. The three carriers, SK, KT and LG Uplus, have installed 28GHz 5G equipment on part of Subway Line 2 from Sinseol-dong Station to Seongsu Station in the capital. According to a statement released yesterday by the Science Ministry, the pilot scheme will check the communication performance between the base stations and subway trains. In 2020, the average WiFi speed on Seoul subway trains was 71Mbps, which,......

Duchy Delays WiFi on Trains but Promises Full Roll Out

(09 Sep 2021, BWCS Staff)
Train passengers in Luxembourg will have to wait up to four years before on-board WiFi is fully available across the country, according to Transport Minister, François Bausch. The good news is that WiFi on trains is coming, the bad news is that it will take some time – despite the relative size of the country. Currently, WiFi connectivity is being rolled out across all train stations in the Grand Duchy and this is expected to be virtually complete by the end of this year. However, extending this service to trains will take two to four years longer, Mr Bausch explained. The upgrade......

Glasgow Subway Becomes Test-Ground for 5G Connectivity

(08 Sep 2021, BWCS Staff)
A UK government-backed project to investigate new on-board 5G experiences for commuters has been set up on the Glasgow Subway. Researchers from the University of Strathclyde have installed a ‘pop up’ network using next generation technology to provide track-to-train connectivity between Buchanan Street and St Enoch stations. The trial is being run in partnership with a similar project on the Seoul Metro system with South Korean partners ETRI and is designed to show the potential of 5G in some of the most challenging environments. According to 5G RailNext, the public-private......

Budget Train Operator Targets Airlines on East Coast Route

(07 Sep 2021, BWCS Staff)
First Group is set to launch a low-cost, “greener” train service on the London-Edinburgh route. The new budget operator, branded Lumo, is designed to take on airlines and is offering free WiFi on board and much lower fares in a bid to woo passengers off planes and onto trains. The service will launch on the 25th of October this year and will boast fares starting at £14.90, with 60% of tickets priced at £30 or less. In a swipe at the budget airline alternatives, First Group says its trains will produce “6 times less CO2 than a flight”.......

Zoom Rooms, with High-Speed WiFi, Replace Smoking Booths on Japanese Trains

(31 Aug 2021, BWCS Staff)
In a sign of the times, in more ways than one, Central Japan Railways has announced that it will replace “Smoking Rooms” on its Shinkansen Trains with “Zoom Rooms”. The hastily renamed “S-Work Vehicles” will offer travellers WiFi at “twice the speed” offered to the rest of the train. The train operator will even lend passengers a mouse, a privacy screen for their laptops, portable chargers and a pillow on which to rest their computers. With smoking now banned in Japanese trains the spaces formerly occupied by ash-trays and smokers was up for......

Bus Stop WiFi-ers – Seoul Leads the Way

(25 Aug 2021, BWCS Staff)
The Seoul Metropolitan Government has installed free WiFi at over 2,300 bus stops across the city, adding to the near blanket WiFi coverage of transport systems in South Korea. The move, which is designed to “lessen the financial burden of communication costs and narrow the information gap among citizens” will see even more free WiFi offered in the Jongno office district and the southern Gangnam of the capital city. South Korea, and Seoul in particular, already leads the World in adding WiFi to transport services. Seoul’s Metro has offered WiFi to passengers since 2009,......

Major New Coverage Deal to Boost West Coast Train Connectivity

(24 Aug 2021, BWCS Staff)
UK train operating company Avanti West Coast has signed a £45 million deal with BT to improve passenger WiFi and mobile connectivity for passengers on the West Coast Mainline. Under the terms of the contract, the phone giant will add network capacity to 200 4G mobile phone masts along parts of the tracks running from London to Scotland via the North West of England. According to BT, the investment will enable faster and more reliable on-board WiFi on Avanti’s trains, as well as address signal blackspots along the route. At the same time as improving the train to shore......

India Ends Satellite WiFi On-Board Train Trial, but Pushes Ahead With Trackside Roll-Out

(05 Aug 2021, BWCS Staff)
Indian Railways has ended its WiFi trial on board the prestigious Howrah Rajdhani Express. The train, the fastest in the huge IR fleet, runs from West Bengal capital Kolkata to the national capital, New Delhi. Speaking to parliament, Rail Minister, Ashwini Vaishnaw, confirmed that the pilot project, which had used satellite-technology to connect to the trains, would not be continued. The Minister cited cost-effectiveness as the main reason. However, RailTel, Indian Railways now privatised subsidiary, confirmed that the move does not jeopardise its ambitious plans to provide wireless......

WiFi Usage Data to Help Passengers Avoid Crowded Stations and Trains

(23 Jul 2021, BWCS Staff)
As passengers take tentative steps back onto trains, transport operators are looking at new ways to provide them with real-time information on how to shun crowded platforms and carriages. Transport for London has become the latest organisation to launch such a service. Earlier this week, it reported that it is using depersonalised data from its WiFi network to provide real-time information on how busy London Underground stations are at any particular time of the day. In the past, TfL has relied on ticketing data to monitor travel patterns. Its estimates of how busy or empty tube stations......

Amtrak Targets New Fleet Complete with WiFi on Board

(08 Jul 2021, BWCS Staff)
US train operator Amtrak is to pour US$7.3 billion into replacing 83 passenger trains. The new rolling stock, which will all feature on-board WiFi, individual power outlets and USB ports, will replace carriages that are up to 50 years old. However, the ambitious spending spree still needs to be approved by Congress. Amtrak CEO William Flynn said that some of the new trains, which will be less polluting than the old stock, will be hybrids - able to operate on diesel and electricity where wires are available. The new trains, to be built int the US, will replace Amfleet, Metroliner and......

Houston – We (No Longer) Have a Problem With the WiFi

(06 Jul 2021, BWCS Staff)
Passengers on all forms of public transport in Houston Texas are to finally have access to free in-vehicle WiFi. The move comes as a result of a contract signed over two years ago between the Metropolitan Transit Authority (Metro) and US telecoms giant AT&T. The Houston Metro area covers some 3,000 square miles and serves a population of over 7 million people. Its services consist of 3 light rail lines (76 carriages), 83 local bus routes and 31 commuter bus routes. According to a statement from the Metro, the new WiFi on-board services will come into effect on its buses, vans and......

Train Innovators Share Funding Award

(05 Jul 2021, BWCS Staff)
A total of 30 different, exciting, rail technology projects have been granted a share of £9 million in funding from the UK Department for Transport (DfT). The new ideas are aimed at encouraging passengers back onto trains and assisting the rail industry by cutting costs, reducing carbon emissions and improving the passenger experience. Plans range from a Loyalty Platform which will reward regular journeys – including the off-train section of the commute, as well as technology could greatly improve last mile travel by presenting passengers with information on changes in......

BART Begins Work on WiFi on Trains System – and Looks to Trouser US$243 Million

(25 Jun 2021, BWCS Staff)
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit has announced the launch the first part of its hugely ambitious four-stage plan to bring WiFi and 5G services to its trains and tunnels. The scheme will see the operator install WiFi along its 131 miles of track and 50 stations and in all of its new 775 train carriages. Other local agencies such as San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency will follow suit. According to BART, its Wireless Technology Programme encompasses four projects. The first tranche of work will see 5G cellular services added to all SFMTA (Muni) tunnels, including the new......

DB and DT Combine to Pledge “Radical Improvement” for On-Train Wifi

(24 Jun 2021, BWCS Staff)
German train operator Deutsche Bahn has nailed its colours to the mast and vowed to boost WiFi on Train connectivity by working directly with Deutsche Telekom. The transport company chairman, Richard Lutz, made the promise in a joint press conference with the telco this week. Speaking at the rail company’s Berlin HQ, he announced a new partnership between the two corporate giants. The pair plan to expand mobile track-side coverage and eradicate “funklochs” (notspots) Addressing the assembled members of the press, Lutz, naturally, gave his outfit star billing “Trains......

Deutsche Bahn Boosts On-Board Video Service with Endava

(22 Jun 2021, BWCS Staff)
German train operator Deutsche Bahn has signed up Endava to provide new video-on-demand services on its Intercity Express (ICE) trains. Starting next month, DB passengers will be able to access an improved entertainment offering via the on-board ICE portal. According to Endava, the pair have collaborated to develop a video-on-demand platform that boasts a wider variety of movies and TV shows. Travellers will now be able to access the content on their own devices when connected to the WiFi networks, Wifi@DB or WIFIonICE, on more than 330 ICE high-speed trains. The technical solutions......

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