News from BWCS

Three-Quarters of Train Users Want Improved Connectivity - Report

Mon 27 Jul 2020

A new report published Friday by UK passenger pressure group Transport Focus claims that up to 75% of train travellers believe “it is important to improve the connection available on trains”. (Something BWCS, and, indeed, the majority of train travellers, have been saying for years – but good to have a number on it.)

The report, titled “Keeping Connected: Passengers’ Experience of Internet Connectivity on Great Britain’s Railways” is based on research carried out by Transport Focus (TF) and the consultancy umlaut on behalf of the Department of Transport.

According to the findings of the report, on average, train passengers are able to access a 4G mobile signal for only 78% of the time that they are connected to a mobile network. This compares with 85% of the time for consumers across GB more generally. In fact, it argues that train travellers only receive a good, or “better than other mobile” signal, 4G connection 58% of the time.

However, the good news for passengers using on-train WiFi services is that they will have a significantly higher chance of being able to connect to the internet than their long-suffering, mobile-only counterparts. This, TF says, is due to the design of the on-board WiFi equipment and its connectivity to the internet based on multiple mobile operator connections.

The findings support what TF refers to as the “generally-held view” that passenger mobile and WiFi internet connectivity are perceived as poor when travelling by train. This is also a finding that regularly crops up in the pressure group’s twice yearly National Rail Passenger Survey conducted by

Finally, Transport Focus warns that the level of satisfaction with connectivity on trains remains low, whilst, at the same time, expectations regarding connectivity remain high. Most passengers also say that at least some of the journey that they most regularly make is affected by poor connectivity. Business travellers are, perhaps not surprisingly the least satisfied with the standard of connections.

The full report is available here

The 2020 BWCS TrainComms Conference, which will cover trackside networks, the growing market for passenger WiFi and on-board entertainment, will now take place on the 27th and 28th of October and will be at least partially online – for more information on how to participate in this event, and on the Special Offer for the First 50 Sign-Ups please see or contact .

The 2020 conference ( ) is sponsored by Icomera, Nomad Digital, Fluidmesh, RADWIN and Xentrans.

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