News

WA Seeks WiFi for Prospector Train Service

(12 Sep 2019, BWCS Staff)
The Western Australian State Government has announced plans to add on-train passenger WiFi to the long-distance “Prospector” train service between Perth and Kalgoorlie. However, it is not clear how the train to shore connection will be handled as mobile reception along the route is virtually non-existent. The 653km (406 mile) train journey to the gold-mining city, currently takes some six hours and 45 minutes to complete. Mobile network coverage maps show that Telstra is the only one of Australia’s three national operators to have any kind of presence in Kalgoorlie. ......

WiFi on the GO to Hit Toronto

(05 Sep 2019, BWCS Staff)
Metrolinx, the Canadian state-owned transport agency, has signed a 5-year deal with Icomera to put WiFi onto all buses and trains in the Toronto area. The contract, said to be worth some Ca$65 million, will see the Swedish/UK supplier provide WiFi connectivity on all 1,475 buses and trains operated by Metrolinx’s subsidiary Go Transit.   According to Canada's Associate Transportation Minister, Kinga Surma, the roll-out is set to begin in the spring of next year, with the government aiming to have all GO vehicles online by the end of 2020. The new WiFi service will also ......

London's Jubilee Line to Get 4G in Prelude to Full Tube Connectivity

(22 Jul 2019, BWCS Staff)
Finally, Londoners unwilling to make eye-contact on the tube will have something to look at: their mobile phones. 4G connectivity is set to (finally) arrive on the entire Underground system. Following years of promises, 14 to be exact, starting in March of next year, TfL says that 4G will be available, as part of another trial, on the platforms and tunnels of a section of the Jubilee line between Westminster and Canning Town. London Bridge and Waterloo stations are slated to follow later in the year. The latest attempt to eliminate what has been dubbed the UK’s largest ......

TfL Starts Monitoring Tube Passengers Via WiFi Data

(10 Jul 2019, BWCS Staff)
Transport for London (TfL) has begun tracking travellers’ movements across the Undergound network, based on the data-trail left as they hop from WiFi-point to WiFi-point. As passengers pass along the tube’s free WiFi network, TfL will access GPS data on their smart-phones in order to help monitor how busy different parts of the network are getting. First announced in May, the move aims to garner data from more than 260 WiFi-enabled London Underground stations in a bid to understand how people navigate the tube system.   According to Lauren Sager Weinstein, chief data ......

Denmark On-Track to Offer WiFi on All Inter-City and Regional Trains

(09 Jul 2019, BWCS Staff)
Danish State Railways (DSB) said this week that it will provide on-train WiFi on its entire fleet of 250 trains by the end of this year. It currently offers WiFi in some 73% of its carriages. Alstom Transport UK Ltd and Nomad Digital have a six-year agreement in place to supply, design, deliver and maintain on-board passenger WiFi to the state-owned national train operator. The contract was signed in September 2018. The Danish government has arguably been one of the leading lights in the on-board passenger WiFi sector. In 2016, after years of passenger dissatisfaction with slow and ......

Delhi Metro to Get Free WiFi at More Stations and in Some Trains by 2020

(05 Jul 2019, BWCS Staff)
By the end of this year, commuters using the Delhi Metro will be able to access WiFi at all Metro stations on the Yellow Line and in all trains on the Airport Express Line. The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) said this week that work is already under way and pointed out that Free WiFi has been available on all Blue Line stations since August 2017 and Airport Express Line stations since 2016. The Airport Express Line, which will offer on-train passenger Internet access, runs for 22.7km and comprises six stations. Over the past few years ridership figures have risen steadily on the route. ......

Taiwan On – Off

(02 Jul 2019, BWCS Staff)
Taipei Rapid Transit Corporation (TRTC), which operates the five line, 117 station, Taipei MRT network, has reportedly ended its contract with the company that provides free WiFi services on its trains. Back in 2017, the Government-owned TRTC, signed Forest-wide Industrial Co, to provide free WiFi services to the travelling public at every station and in every train coach. The service, dubbed Free AD, has been accessible by passengers clicking on adverts via a mobile app. However, according to reports in the local press the service has been disrupted recently by a series of unlimited data ......

New WiFi Roll-Out Deadline for Indian Railways

(20 Jun 2019, BWCS Staff)
Indian Railways has announced it will provide free WiFi at 6,485 railway stations “in the next 100 days”, dramatically bringing forward its own previously announced deadline. The company had previously said that free WiFi would be available across the national network of stations by August 2020. So far, RailTel, the Indian Railways subsidiary responsible for the WiFi network, has completed installation at some 1,603 stations. The company now has under three months to complete installations and testing at the remaining 4,882 stations. It was back in 2014 that RailTel first ......

CCJPA Awards Next Generation WiFi Contract to Nomad Digital

(18 Jun 2019, BWCS Staff)
West-Coast US train operating partnership, the Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority (CCJPA), has awarded Nomad Digital a “Next Generation WiFi Services Contract." The CCJPA, which encompasses the six local transit agencies in Northern California, says it chose the UK-based technology company as its partner in the future installation, testing, operation and maintenance of a next-generation WiFi network on board Capitol Corridor trains. Making the announcement at the recent BWCS’ WiFi on Trains Conference, Train Communications Systems 2019, Jim Allison, the Manager of Planning ......

Omotenashi – Helps Drive On-Train WiFi in Japan

(17 Jun 2019, BWCS Staff)
Faced with a rising tide of tourism and frequent complaints from overseas guests of poor WiFi coverage, the Japanese government has pledged to take action. Speaking late last week, a government spokesman said that the administration will help provide WiFi on some 300 train and bus routes, mainly to and from airports, and across the centre of Tokyo.   In recent years, visitors have been flocking to Japan in unprecedented numbers. Even before the Rugby World Cup kicks off at the Tokyo Stadium (20th September 2019) and the Olympic Opening Ceremony dazzles the world (24th July 2020), ......

Places Nearly Sold Out for This Year’s WiFi on Trains Conference

(08 May 2019, BWCS Staff)
The few remaining tickets to attend this June's Train Communications Systems 2019, the global WiFi on Trains Conference are selling out fast, warn the hosts, BWCS. The event, held in London, brings together train operators, rail administrators and suppliers from all over the world to candidly discuss their real-life issues in launching and improving on-board connected services which passengers increasingly expect as a right. The main European and UK train operators, as well as Indian Railways, and operators from Canada and the US will be sharing their experiences and challenges at the ......

UK Department for Transport to Present at London WiFi on Trains Conference

(01 May 2019, BWCS Staff)
The DfT is to give a keynote presentation at this year's WiFi on Trains Conference - Train Communications Systems 2019 on June 4th and 5th. Nina Gaubert, from the DfT’s Client side for Network Rail Telecom, will discuss “The Way Forward for On-Train Connectivity in the UK”. The presentation, on the first morning of the Conference, is set to spark fierce discussion among the train operators, suppliers, network operators and rail administrators gathering from the UK, across Europe and all over the World. “One of the key features of these Conferences, over the past ......

All Southern Trains Get WiFi

(30 Apr 2019, BWCS Staff)
Southern Rail has announced that it now has WiFi available on all of its 420 trains. According to the franchise owner Govia Thameslink, WiFi is now up and running on all Southern and Gatwick Express trains as well as most of the Great Northern carriages. The company says it took its engineers around 40,000 hours to fit the technology on board its trains, with each train requiring 120 separate components to be fitted and tested. In total, Southern reported that it has installed some 65 miles of cabling on its fleet. Govia Thameslink has been offering free WiFi at 106 stations since ......

On-Train WiFi Moves up a Level, as Conference Discusses Largest Projects and Latest Developments

(12 Apr 2019, BWCS Staff)
The largest and most innovative schemes to put WiFi onto trains and to improve existing services will be presented and discussed at this June’s Global WiFi on Trains Conference. Hosted by consultancy BWCS, the event will bring together train operators, rail administrators and suppliers from all over the world to candidly discuss their real-life issues in launching and improving on-board connected services which passengers increasingly expect as a right. “This year we have seen a real shift towards trackside networks, higher bandwidth and greater investment in on-train ......

State Funding Boosting On-Train WiFi Down Under

(08 Apr 2019, BWCS Staff)
Australian telecoms operator Telstra has started work on its much-promised network upgrades to provide mobile and WiFi services along one of Sydney’s busiest commuter rail routes. The project, which will cost some Au$13.2 million (US$9.38 million), is part of a contract signed late last year between the Telco and Sydney Trains and is being under-written by the Canberra-based Federal Government. Under the terms of the deal Telstra will add infrastructure along the rail corridor and at stations along a 60km stretch of track from central Sydney out to the Newcastle Interchange at the ......

Deutsche Bahn to Add WiFi to Entire Intercity Fleet

(28 Mar 2019, BWCS Staff)
German national train operator Deutsche Bahn has said it will spend €30 million to fit out its entire Intercity fleet with on-board WiFi services. The project will start this summer and the company said it plans to offer passenger WiFi services on all of its long-distance trains by the end of 2021. DB already offers WiFi on its high-speed ICE services, where it is free for both First and Second Class travellers. However, Second Class passengers face a limit on the amount of data they can download. Since 2016, Icomera has had the contract to supply WiFi on-board DB’s 2,272 ICE ......

Most Greater Anglia Trains get WiFi

(21 Mar 2019, BWCS Staff)
Free WiFi is now available on almost all Greater Anglia trains, the TOC has announced. GA, a joint venture between Abellio, the international arm of the state-owned Dutch national rail operator (60%), and the Japanese company Mitsui (40%) has reportedly spent £4.8 million on retrofitting its current fleet of 840 carriages. This is in spite of the imminent arrival of new WiFi-equipped rolling stock.   Greater Anglia operates trains in and out of London’s Liverpool Street Station, across Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk and parts of Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire. It also ......

Indian Railways Wants to Hear from Suppliers Regarding a 64,000km Trackside Comms Network

(18 Mar 2019, BWCS Staff)
As Indian Railways’ subsidiary RailTel launches a massive tender for trackside to train connection services, BWCS spoke to Ashutosh Vasant, Director of RailTel and the man in charge of its WiFi project. Mr Vasant will be one of the keynote speakers at this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference – (www.Traincomms2019.com)  “The tender documents are now live” Mr Vasant told us. Eschewing the now creaking trackside comms GSM-R system, which has been slowly rolled out across Europe, RailTel, has opted to follow countries like South Korea and leap straight into LTE-R. ......
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