News


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London Midland Launches WiFi and Entertainment with a Whoosh

(25 Apr 2017, BWCS Staff)
UK regional train company London Midland yesterday officially launched its WiFi on board service. The operator, which runs services between Liverpool, Birmingham, Crewe and London, as well as local train routes in the West Midland area, said the new WiFi service based on 4G mobile will be offered for free to all passengers.  In addition, LM said it has begun offering passengers access to movies, TV shows, games and magazines as well as just WiFi from their seats. At the moment the entertainment facility is only available for long-distance passenger trains out of Euston. However, the ......

South West to Benefit From “Proper” On-Train WiFi Says Minister

(24 Apr 2017, BWCS Staff)
UK Deputy-Transport Minister, Paul Maynard, has promised that the new high-speed trains slated for duty in the South West of England will be fitted with “better WiFi”. Reports in the local press quoted Maynard, the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, confirming that the 36 Hitachi trains, set to be rolled out on the Great Western Railway next year, “Will put an end to commuters' frustration at being unable to get online.” Responding to Parliamentary questions from, Johny Mercer, the Conservative MP for Plymouth Moor View, Maynard said “The new rolling stock ......

Italian Train Commuters Get Purpose-Built Network for WiFi

(13 Apr 2017, BWCS Staff)
One of the largest commuter railroad systems in southern Italy, Ferrovie del Gargano, has launched an on-train WiFi service for its passengers. The company, which said it was determined to improve customer experience for travellers using its services, is using a purpose-built trackside wireless network with LTE back-up. The trackside solution has been supplied by Fluidmesh which installed its Trackside MPLS Technology. According to Fluidmesh the system is currently supporting data, VOIP, as well as live video streaming to passengers. In a press statement Fluidmesh underlined that its MPLS ......

Free On-Train WiFi Is It?

(12 Apr 2017, BWCS Staff)
Train passengers in South West Wales are logging on to a free WiFi service this week as a comprehensive upgrade programme came in ahead of schedule. Phase One of Arriva Train Wales’ WiFi operation, which was partly funded by a £2.5 million injection from the Department for Transport, has seen passenger internet facilities installed on 87 of the company’s 127 trains that crisscross the region. According to local press reports, all of Arriva’s class 150, 158 and 175 trains have been upgraded to receive WiFi and passengers seem to be enjoying the experience. Work is due ......

Deadline Looms for Second WiFi on Metros Contract in India

(29 Mar 2017, BWCS Staff)
Bidders are currently sharpening their pencils as the deadline draws close for submissions to offer a WiFi on trains service for the Kochi Metro. Those interested in getting on board with the soon-to-be-launched 26km long metro have until the 8th of April to finalise their offers. The ambitious plan to provide a shiny new train service in the South-Western Indian city will see 25 Alstom-supplied trains running between 25 newly-created stations. It is due to go into service this May, at a cost of some 5,181 Crore (US$760 million) although some estimates say the investment will be much ......

How is the Cyber Threat Affecting the Rail Industry?

(23 Mar 2017, BWCS Staff)
National governments, all over the world, are now acutely aware of the threat that cyberattacks pose to their country’s infrastructures and are taking steps to protect their citizens. Many have already introduced new standards and guidelines for both rolling stock and infrastructure; the US has issued an Executive Order for the Enhancement of National Cybersecurity and in the UK, a new, mandatory framework will come into force in May 2018. Ahead of the introduction of these new regulations, changes are already being seen with more stringent cyber requirements being included in tenders ......

Regional Trains in Germany to get WiFi Too

(13 Mar 2017, BWCS Staff)
German train operator Deutsche Bahn has begun rolling out passenger WiFi services on its regional train network. The first four trains to be kitted out are in the North Rhine-Westphalia area. Up until now, Deutsche Bahn had restricted on-train WiFi services to its high-speed ICE fleet. The train company has also launched pilot schemes aimed at testing WiFi on trains and other local transport services. At the same time, some of Deutsche Bahn’s competitors in the regional market have started trialling WiFi on board services. The largest of these is in Westfalenbahn which has fitted out ......

Ulster Says “Nomad”

(28 Feb 2017, BWCS Staff)
UK-based supplier of on-train WiFi services Nomad Digital has announced a tie-up with Translink Group, Northern Ireland’s main public transport operator. According to the Newcastle tech company, the deal encompasses putting its WiFi solution onto trains and buses across the six counties. The agreement essentially involves an extension of Nomad’s current contract to provide WiFi on Translink trains, plus a new deal which will see it extend on-board WiFi to cover the Northern Irish operator’s fleet of buses, coaches, and new high-quality rapid transit vehicles. Nomad’s ......

New Kid on the Block …

(22 Feb 2017, BWCS Staff)
It is perhaps a sign of the growing maturity of the WiFi on Trains market that some of the older hands have recently announced a come-back. Nigel Wallbridge, one of the founders of Nomad, itself a pioneering company in this sector, has this month announced his return to the fray with the launch of Telerail Networks. The new company will seek to provide track-side networks for “next generation train connectivity”. The case for Telerail Networks is simple, over the last few years, Wallbridge argues, the focus has switched from merely delivering WiFi to trains to establishing and ......

Keynote Speakers to Discuss Future Path of On-Train WiFi at Trains Conference

(13 Feb 2017, BWCS Staff)
BWCS is delighted to announce a major keynote speaker for this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference - Train Communications Systems 2017 (London, 7th and 8th of June). Keith Monserrat from Network Rail Telecom will address the Conference on the Future for Wireless Connectivity Services to Trains.  “The UK is currently leading the world in terms of penetration of WiFi services on trains,” claims Graham Wilde CEO of BWCS, “and we are delighted to have Keith as the keynote speaker addressing what Network Rail’s ongoing trials have uncovered and what lessons can be ......

Miami Trains and Buses to get Free On-Board WiFi … For Free!

(30 Jan 2017, BWCS Staff)
All public trains and buses in Miami-Dade County are to offer their passengers free WiFi in the future. The move follows a deal struck between the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners and Massachusetts-based company CIVIQ Smartscapes. Under the terms of the new contract, CIVIQ will install WiFi hotspots in all public transport vehicles, as well as 300 kiosks and at stations and bus-stops. CIVIQ, of course, is best known for its work in New York City where it has been instrumental in transforming old phone booths into WiFi hotspots. The company now says it will equip over 1,000 public ......

More UK Train Companies Prepare to Launch On-Board WiFi Services

(27 Jan 2017, BWCS Staff)
Two more UK train operators have announced plans to introduce passenger WiFi on their services. Both Arriva Train Wales and Chiltern Railways are working with Swedish/UK supplier Icomera to install and operate on-board Internet on their fleets. ATW said it will roll out WiFi capability on its Class 150, 158 and 175 trains, which comprise 70% of its total rolling stock. This part of the installation process is set to be completed by the end of April this year. WiFi on ATW trains was initially promised by the then Prime Minister David Cameron, back in 2015, when he first announced plans to put ......

Another UK Train Company Succumbs to WiFi ...

(24 Jan 2017, BWCS Staff)
UK commuter train operator Southeastern is to equip all of its trains with WiFi by the end of this year, the company announced today. Having chosen Icomera as its technology partner, Southeastern reports that some parts of its fleet will be made WiFi-ready during the course of this year. The Go-Ahead Group company which operates some 367 trains mainly on suburban routes between Kent and London said the move is part of a major investment which will also encompass station refurbishment and the recruitment and training of 300 new frontline staff. Over the course of the next 18 months, WiFi ......

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, ......

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