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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. ......

Vietnam to get WiFi on Trains

(11 Mar 2019, BWCS Staff)
Vietnam Railways (VNR) has announced plans to install WiFi on all of its trains running on the main North-South routes later this year. In addition, it will add a raft of new mobile services aimed at offering better passenger information. The route, which snakes along the coast between Hanoi in the North and Ho-Chi-Minh in the South currently takes trains just shy of 30 hours to cover. In total, the line stretches 1,726km (1,070 miles) and equates to the lion’s share of the total rail network in Vietnam of 2,600km. According to a spokesman for VNR, quoted in the local press, the ......

Speakers Announced for This year’s WiFi on Trains Conference - Train Communications Systems 2019

(07 Mar 2019, BWCS Staff)
Good morning, As a subscriber to our WiFi on Trains news, we just wanted to let you know that we have now lined up all of the speakers for this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference – Train Communications Systems 2019 (London, June 4th and 5th). As ever, the conference will be focused on getting train operators, from all over the world to share their real-life stories of putting WiFi onto their trains, fighting to keep the customers happy, struggling to add new services and dealing with new systems to increase bandwidth. The main European and UK train operators as well as ones from ......

FirstGroup to Roll Out 5G Train Connectivity

(26 Feb 2019, BWCS Staff)
FirstGroup has announced a deal to become Britain’s first 5G railway network. It will work with Blu Wireless to bring superfast WiFi to the Southern Western Railway franchise. However, Icomera will continue to supply on-board WiFi equipment and services to the franchise operator. The UK-based transport group has been working with Blu Wireless, Network Rail and the DfT, on what it refers to as an ‘end-to-end 5G solution’, marking a UK market first in bringing 5G to trains. The system, based on mmWave technology, is reportedly capable of processing volumes of data up to 100 ......

GoMedia and TransPennine Express Launch Real-Time Customer Information Service

(25 Feb 2019, BWCS Staff)
UK-based infotainment platform supplier GoMedia is today launching what it says is the UK rail industry’s first real-time, on-board, customer information solution. The system has gone live on TransPennine Express (TPE) trains and uses live data to update customers on the status of their journeys. TPE and GoMedia have developed Exstream, an on-board infotainment system which uses multiple data sources and GPS mapping to provide accurate arrival and departure times, platform numbers and onward travel options to TPE passengers. The TPE franchise was awarded to First Group in 2016, when ......

Satisfaction with UK, On-Train WiFi Connections Improving, but Much Still to be Done – say Surveys

(25 Feb 2019, BWCS Staff)
Two recently released surveys of train passengers underline there is much work still to be done to improve trackside connectivity along the UK rail network. According to the Transport Focus’ National Rail Passengers Survey (NPRS), 52% of the 10,935 respondents said they were “dissatisfied” with the on-board internet connection on UK trains. However, it should be noted that this number has consecutively improved over each of the last two sample periods – Spring 2018 and Autumn 2017. Meanwhile, according to an Opinium survey of 1,001 travellers, a staggering 86% of UK ......

New On-Train WiFi and Digital Mapping Systems for Chennai Metro

(20 Feb 2019, BWCS Staff)
Chennai Metro is set to become the latest Indian city transport system to introduce on-train WiFi. According to reports in the Indian press, parent company Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL) has floated tenders to supply WiFi services on the 32 stations and in the train carriages of the 45km network. Opened in 2015, Chennai Metro is a two line, 42 train system that criss-crosses the sprawling Southern Indian city of just over 7 million people. It has a ridership of some 1 million passengers per day. Operations are set to begin soon in North Chennai, with an extension from Washermanpet to ......

On-Train WiFi User Numbers to Rocket - according to New Online Database

(11 Feb 2019, BWCS Staff)
The number of passengers accessing WiFi on trains across Europe is set to soar to over 5.3 billion by 2028, almost five times the current total, according to figures from www.internet4trains.com, BWCS’ new online database launched today. In 2018, the number of train travellers using on-board Internet services in Europe stood at just over 1.27 billion (12%) of the total and BWCS predicts that this will rise to over 5.3 billion (43% of total) within ten years. However, the consultancy warns that without significant investment in many markets, the on-board WiFi services may fail to meet ......

UK Train Company Makes WiFi Free for All

(05 Feb 2019, BWCS Staff)
UK government-owned train operator London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has made WiFi available for free on all of its services. Up until now, on-board passenger Internet access has been free only to First Class passengers and those in second who had booked directly through LNER. Anyone else was subject to a £5 per journey charge. According to LNER, the decision to make WiFi free for all travellers in its 65 trains (495 carriages) was primarily driven by the importance of connectivity amongst the UK population. The service is now available via a quick online sign-in process. The train ......

Government Scraps Major Part of £35 Million UK Trackside Wireless Trial

(31 Jan 2019, BWCS Staff)
The UK Government announced today that it has decided to ditch part of its £35 million trial of 5G based mobile and fixed line fibre technology on the Trans Pennine rail route. The train tracks running between Manchester and York had been designated as an important trial area for new trackside wireless systems, supported by the Department for Culture Media and Science (DCMS). The Trans Pennine Initiative (TPI) came into being to support ambitious proposals from the Government aimed at bringing “uninterrupted” WiFi and Mobile (5G) broadband speeds of up to 1Gbps to all UK ......

Northern Trains Emerge from Refurbishment with Icomera Platforms

(24 Jan 2019, BWCS Staff)
The spread of WiFi across the UK rail network continues apace with today’s announcement from Icomera that it is has partnered with Northern to launch the train operator’s first fully-refurbished digital train. According to figures from BWCS’ Internet4Trains database, the current level of penetration of WiFi in the UK rail market stands at 65.4% (end 2018), but this is expected to grow rapidly over the coming two years. The Northern Franchise Rail network is one of the most extensive in Britain and is one of two serving the north of England. It provides inter-urban, commuter ......

Cross Country Runs Free WiFi on all Trains

(24 Jan 2019, BWCS Staff)
UK train operating company Cross Country says it has completed a year-long project to fit all of its 92 trains with WiFi. In addition, the Arriva-owned company has revealed that from this month, all passengers can now access the service for free. Previously it had only been free for First Class customers. Second Class ticket-holders had faced paying £2 for a one-hour connection. As its name suggests, the Cross Country franchise operates long-distance routes across the UK, including the longest train journey from Aberdeen in the NE of Scotland to Penzance in the SW of England. All of ......

Vancouver Trains and Buses to get Free WiFi - for Free

(23 Jan 2019, BWCS Staff)
Metro Vancouver is set to become 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 recently that it plans to launch the WiFi service in 2020, and that it will not cost tax-payers, or riders, a single cent. The service will cover all the buses, SkyTrains and ferries (SeaBus) as they criss-cross the 1,800 square kilometres of Metro Vancouver. SkyTrain alone has a daily ridership of some 490,000 ......

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