Swedish-UK Passenger connectivity supplier, Icomera, is set to launch a brand new, rail grade access point capable of supporting WiFi-7. In what the Equans-owned company claims is a world-first, the new A2, hardware will be able to support what it calls “the latest and most advanced generation of wireless technology.”
According to a press statement from Icomera, it expects demand for connectivity to trains to increase greatly in the coming years. This, it says, will be based on the utilisation of ever better communications networks (cellular, trackside, satellite etc.), technological upgrades to vehicles themselves, and the implementation of intelligent data traffic management tools. Therefore, it argues, high-capacity access points will be essential to avoid bottlenecks and smoother access to Passenger WiFi solutions.
WiFi 7 will, Icomera says, offer significantly reduced latency, increased network capacity and enhanced efficiency.
Mats Karlsson, Icomera’s Chief Technology Officer and Co-founder, commented, “With the launch of the A2 access point, we’re proud to be unleashing leading-edge WiFi 7 technology within the public transportation market segment, delivering long-term reliability for transport operators.”
As well as being compatible with Wi-Fi 6/6E and all other earlier WiFi standards, the new AP can utilise all available spectrum across its four radios (1 x 6GHz, 2 x 5GHz, 1 x 2.4GHz), supporting higher volumes of traffic between the onboard routers and passengers as a result.
The Icomera A2 access point will be available in two models at launch:
The A2-i has 16 integrated Wi-Fi antennas. Power is supplied by Power over Ethernet (PoE) via a single 10 Gbps Ethernet cable; the integrated antennas minimise RF-loss, since there is no need to route long RF cables between the access point and external antennas and reduces the installation costs associated with solutions requiring more cabling and other components. With its simple, clean, and sleek design, the A2-i effortlessly melds to the form of a train carriage’s interior aesthetic.
The A2-e has 16 external antenna connectors and two 10Gbps Ethernet ports. It has a bypass relay that ensures that (in daisy-chained topologies) Ethernet traffic can still flow through the access point, even in cases of power failure. Alternatively, the access point can be powered with PoE. The A2-e also supports wireless inter-carriage link (ICL), so that a wireless bridge may be formed between carriages when an Ethernet bridge is not suitable.
On-board WiFi and passenger entertainment services at train operators around the world will be discussed at this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference – Traincomms 2023 (www.Traincomms.com )
This year’s Traincomms 2023 Conference will take place on the 14th and 15th of November at the Royal Horseguards Hotel in central London www.Traincomms.com.