News


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Fluidmesh Mulls Results of Trackside Tests in Italy

(30 Jun 2016, BWCS Staff)
US/Italian company Fluidmesh Networks has been evaluating the results of a recent series of tests conducted along the high-speed train corridor between Milan and Turin. The technology outfit worked with local –partner Sirti to deploy a wireless train to ground system using 5GHz radios alongside the tracks between the two northern Italian cities. According to Fluidmesh, the wireless system was initially tried with a high speed test train ETR500 owned by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI, a Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group Company) travelling at 300kmh. Additional test-runs with a ......

Government Scheme (Slowly) Helping Cover Train-line Blackspots Down Under

(29 Jun 2016, BWCS Staff)
As if Australians, still reeling from a 3-0 loss in the recent rugby series with England, didn’t have enough to worry about. It now appears that the Coalition Government’s AU$220 million (US$163.3 million) mobile blackspot programme, which would help alleviate train line coverage, is also failing to deliver. The re-elected Turnbull administration previously pledged it would allocate money to spend on improving cellular coverage in areas nominated by the community and along major transport routes. However, critics point out that only a very few of the 100s of promised new base ......

All Aboard for Video-on-Demand as Deutsche Bahn Joins the Action

(24 Jun 2016, BWCS Staff)
In a further major development in the on-train entertainment market, German video-on-demand supplier Maxdome has signed a content supply deal with Deutsche Bahn. Under the terms of the contract, passengers on the train company’s high-speed Inter-City Express (ICE) fleet will get access to some of Maxdome’s extensive catalogue of 50,000 film titles. In total, this will provide the content company with a potential audience of around 80 million passengers a year. The new in-train entertainment service will be delivered from the ICE multimedia portal and stored on the train to avoid ......

Panasonic Buys UK Rail-Telecoms Integrator

(23 Jun 2016, BWCS Staff)
In a move designed to boost its capabilities in the rail technology sector Panasonic Europe has acquired Alan Dick Communications. The UK-based company, which will now trade as ADComms, specialises in technology integration and provides telecoms-based services to the transport and mobile communications industries. Part of the once-sprawling Japanese industrial giant known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Panasonic Europe, has previously focused on CCTV-based solutions in the rail industry. More recently, however. it has made a play to add information and entertainment systems to ......

Big Thank You from BWCS

(17 Jun 2016, BWCS Staff)
Dear Subscriber, BWCS would like to extend a big thank you to all the speakers, sponsors (Icomera, Nomad, 21Net, RADWIN and BAI Communicaitons) and attendees who helped make last week’s WiFi on Trains Conference – Train Communications Systems 2016 such a success. We thoroughly enjoyed the event and look forward to seeing you all again next year, if not before. In the meantime, remember we cover new developments in this niche sector in our Free Online News service – please sign up to this at www.Traincomms2016.com . In addition, you can follow us on Twitter via @Traincomms ......

Nomad Delivers Live IP TV to ÖBB Trains – in Time for Traincomms 2016 (… and Regional Football Tournament)

(10 Jun 2016, BWCS Staff)
Live at the annual WiFi on Trains Conference in London yesterday, Nomad Digital, announced the “world’s first” ” terrestrial broadcast TV solution over IP for the rail market. The new service is part of a package of measures introduced by the Newcastle-based tech company which is delivering a fleet-wide passenger WiFi upgrade to ÖBB (the largest Austrian rail operator). In addition to the on-train internet connections, Nomad has introduced a comprehensive passenger portal with multi-media services on 51 ÖBB Railjets. The UK train connectivity company has been a ......

Major announcement at TrainComms2016

(09 Jun 2016, BWCS Staff)
Release written by Arriva and Icomera Arriva and Icomera announce next steps towards the digital train Arriva UK Trains and Icomera have announced the signing of a new framework agreement for the provision of onboard Internet connectivity solutions. This long-term agreement reaffirms Arriva’s commitment to providing an industry-leading onboard passenger experience. As one of the largest providers of both rail and road public transport in the UK, Arriva passengers have been enjoying Icomera passenger Wi-Fi across Arriva’s Chiltern Railways and Grand Central services as well as ......

Nomad Partners with Virgin Trains on the West Coast to deliver WiFi Upgrade Together with Infotainment and Media Platform

(06 Jun 2016, BWCS Staff)
Nomad Digital has revealed it has successfully partnered with Virgin Trains on the West Coast of the UK to deliver a fleet-wide passenger WiFi upgrade and portal-based infotainment and media platform, offering video-on-demand. Building on a long-term strategic partnership with Virgin Trains, which dates back almost ten years, Nomad has led the design, development and delivery of an end-to-end connectivity solution, which has been implemented on Virgin Trains, delivering significantly improved on-board WiFi and overall passenger experience. Additionally, in partnership with GoMedia, a ......

Next-Generation Passenger WiFi Launching on Amtrak Trains

(06 Jun 2016, BWCS Staff)
Icomera has announced that it has executed a contract with Amtrak to supply next-generation passenger Wi-Fi to select trains in the United States of America. The contract is for five years with the option to extend for an additional two years. The first Task Order focuses on 20 trainsets on the popular high-speed Acela Express route which runs from Washington, D.C. to Boston via Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. Icomera’s Proof-of-Concept was implemented on the first train in early March, and installation on the remaining vehicles will begin later this month. Amtrak is the ......

St Petersburg Metro to get Free WiFi

(31 May 2016, BWCS Staff)
Russian news agency TASS has claimed that the St. Petersburg Committee for Investments is in talks with Maxima Telecom to supply free WiFi for the city’s Metro system. In doing so the City will be following in the footsteps of Moscow, which launched a similar system last year. According to reports, the proposed network in St Petersburg will cover all 67 stations and 1,600 carriages across five lines in what is one of the deepest subway systems in the world. TASS says the project could be completed by late 2017. The estimated cost of covering the entire 380km of track, at depths of up ......

Two Weeks to go Until Train Communications Systems 2016 …

(25 May 2016, BWCS Staff)
With only a fortnight to go until this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference – Train Communications Systems 2016 (London, June 8th and 9th) there are literally only a handful of tickets left – so please contact us now, if you have not already reserved your place.  There is more information and a full list of speakers at www.Traincomms2016.com . As ever, we have 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 and struggling to add new services and increase ......

WiFi on the Fly …

(19 May 2016, BWCS Staff)
In a move that echoes recent suggestions to use drones to supply on-train WiFi, a zoo in the UK has reportedly trained parrots to effectively become mobile WiFi hotspots. Chessington World of Adventure says it has enrolled two colourful Macaws to carry WiFi routers around the park. Dubbed “FlyFi” the birds are seen as an effective way to get Chessington’s new WiFi system off the ground. The idea has echoes of suggestions, made last year that one way of covering track-side “not-spots” along UK and European rail systems would be to employ drones to relay mobile ......

WiFi Spreads across Southern England’s Stations and Some Trains …

(18 May 2016, BWCS Staff)
Passengers on Southern Railway, Thameslink and Gatwick Express can now access WiFi at 105 stations across Southern England. However, of the three operators, the London airport train service is the only one to offer on-board WiFi access. According to Charles Horton, CEO of Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) - “There’s no advertising and no catch – just free unlimited WiFi for whoever logs on at 105 of our stations.” He continued, “Passengers can use our On Track app to see the progress of their trains, plan journeys and even book a ticket.” The service is being ......

Supplier to Show New Trackside Solution at TrainComms

(18 May 2016, BWCS Staff)
Nomad will share insight into a recently deployed ground-breaking technology solution at this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference - Train Communications Systems 2016. The Newcastle-based company recently procured, designed and configured what is reportedly the first WiMAX trackside system to support operationally critical rail signalling communications in North America. The system provides communications for operational applications such as positive train control, closed-circuit television, passenger emergency information, public announcement and maintenance data systems. Nomad, together ......

WiFi Goes Underground in China

(10 May 2016, BWCS Staff)
The so-called “inter-city subway” connecting Guangzhou and Foshan in south China has begun offering WiFi connections on the trains and at the stations. The new line, which extends 32km through 18 stations, is reportedly the first underground route to connect two cities together in China. Whilst the Metro was opened in 2010, a trial of the WiFi system was not launched until the 24th April, this year. So far, the transit company reports, it has recorded an average of nearly 10,000 users online at the same time, with WiFi speed of no less than 512kbs, even at peak hours. China Net ......

Icomera WiFi Solution on ICE – in Germany

(29 Apr 2016, BWCS Staff)
German train operator Deutsch Bahn has chosen Icomera to supply on-board Internet connectivity for passengers on its extensive fleet of long distance ICE trains. According to the Swedish-based technology company, the contract covers all 259 ICE trains currently in operation, plus a further 130 which are on order. The ICE trains, which come in four different iterations – the first set being deployed back in 1991, with the latest (ICE TD) being brought into service in 2001-2003, are the flagships of DB’s extensive armada of rolling stock. The German company reports that work on ......

Major Metro System to get Free On-Train WiFi

(20 Apr 2016, BWCS Staff)
Passengers on the Delhi Metro, one of the largest urban rail systems in the World, will soon be offered free on-board WiFi via an app. With approximately 2.75 million passengers using the sprawling Metro network every day, the companies backing the new system believe they will offer advertisers a chance to reach an audience far greater than that currently offered by The Times of India. The Metro, which has five lines stretching 213km around Delhi and its satellite cities of Faridabad, Gurgaon, Noida and Ghaziabad, is no stranger to new technology, already boasting driverless trains and ......

Indian Express Comes with WiFi On-Board

(06 Apr 2016, BWCS Staff)
India has launched its first “semi-high speed train”, equipped with free on-board WiFi. Rail Minister Suresh Prabhu oversaw the inaugural departure of the Gatiman Express from Nizamuddin station yesterday. The new service will cover the 200km between Delhi and Agra in one hour and 40 minutes, reaching a top speed of 160km per hour along the way. As the train pulled out, the Minister went on record as saying that his government wants “To increase speed of all trains whether ordinary or express as part of our mission. It is not an easy task. It will take time but we have made ......

South West Trains Extends WiFi Coverage Still Further – this Time with Icomera

(04 Apr 2016, BWCS Staff)
Icomera says it has won the contract to supply free WiFi on board South West Trains’ fleet of Class 158 /159 trains. The project will see UK/Swedish WiFi specialist install its mobile Internet connectivity system on 41 trains, in addition to those already kitted out for WiFi by Nomad Digital (see below). For the first time WiFi will be available on services running West of Salisbury, which will come as a relief to passengers who have long petitioned for such an extension. Icomera has a long-standing relationship with Stagecoach Group, which owns South West Trains. Last month, the train ......

Amtrak Fights Back

(01 Apr 2016, BWCS Staff)
US train operator Amtrak announced today that it is expanding the availability of its cellular-based on-board WiFi service, AmtrakConnect. At the same time as it rolls out coverage to 90% of its trains, the company said it will add “new wireless technology on board” and that this will lead to “overall improvements in reliability and performance.” The move comes as airlines, with relatively fast WiFi, are putting increasing pressure on Amtrak to follow suit. A study of recent tweets from customers on-board trains along the East Coast, reveals a mixture of gratitude ......

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