Netskrt Systems and BAI Communications (BAI), soon to rebrand as Boldyn Networks, have announced plans to work together to enhance train passengers’ on-board WiFi experience.
A statement from the two companies outlines how BAI will integrate Netskrt’s eCDN for Rail solution. The system deploys content delivery intelligence in the cloud and provides video caches on each train. BAI says it will combine this with its connected transport solution to give rail operators a seamless, easy to deploy and manage connectivity solution.
The move is designed to help overcome the often-patchy cellular coverage trains encounter as they head across the rural hinterland or through tunnels.
A joint press release from Netskrt and BAI quotes research from IPSOS Passenger which indicates that 41% of all adults (16 – 75 years old) and 64% of young people (16 – 35 years old) would be more likely to consider taking the train, if fast, reliable, on-board WiFi was consistently available (something BWCS has been saying for years). Computer Weekly reports that amongst business travellers, this figure rises to 79%.
Certainly, there is no doubt that train travellers now expect the same level of connectivity on-board as they would at home or work and become frustrated if their usual streaming services are blocked or simply fail. Typically, the solution to limited broadband availability has been for transport companies to throttle individual WiFi usage by constraining, or even prohibiting, access to streaming services.
The Netskrt eCDN system, however, proactively stores on-demand content in the train’s on-board software cache. So, when customers select popular content, it does not have to be externally downloaded and is thus much more accessible. According to the company, this allows customers to continue watching videos when they are going through tunnels or the train is chugging across the moors. The on-train content can be regularly uploaded, either at the station, or on the move.
Brendan O’Reilly, Group CTO at BAI Communications commented, “At BAI, we are continuously advancing our connected transport solution with the latest industry innovations to provide secure, high-speed cellular and WiFi connectivity on board trains, above and below ground. Together we offer rail operators an easy path to enhancing their customer’s journey with on demand and live streaming video services”.
BAI Communications (BAI) is in the midst of banding together its operations in the Northern Hemisphere under the new name Boldyn Networks. This will consist of Mobilitie, Signal Point Systems, Transit Wireless, ZenFi Networks and Vilicom (plus BAI). Its global operations span the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Hong Kong, Canada, and Australia.
The growing market for passenger WiFi and on-board entertainment and trackside wireless systems will be the main subjects of BWCS’ WiFi on Trains Conference this year www.Traincomms.com on the 14th and 15th of November.
It will feature presentations from train operators across Europe, the UK and the rest of the world – including the US, Turkey, Australia and Saudi Arabia.
For information on the full programme and the one remaining sponsorship spot at the 2023 event, please contact Ross.Parsons@BWCS.com
The 2023 Conference is sponsored by Huber+Suhner, GlobalReach Technology, Westermo and Icomera.
Xentrans, Antonics and PoloMarconi are exhibiting sponsors.