Transportation – Trains
Long distance train travel is fast, comfortable and – most importantly for frequent travelers – saves the wasted time and hassles of airports. In Europe, Japan and elsewhere, high speed trains traveling almost 350km per hour are used more frequently than commercial airliners or private cars for inter-city travel.
To meet rising customer demand, train manufacturers are making serious efforts to offer all the services and amenities – from beds to gourmet meals to high-speed Internet – required for an enhanced travel experience.
Connectivity Is Crucial
Whether commuting to work or vacationing in the Alps, today’s train passengers require reliable online connectivity. In fact, broadband communication has become a key driver and competitive differentiator for rail travel, especially for commuters and business travelers.
Connectivity requirements span a wide set of entertainment, business and security services, as well as advanced train operation and control applications. In addition to passenger services, real-time communications are also required for cargo transportation.
However, providing this connectivity is far from simple as long distance rail routes often pass through remote and sparsely populated areas, such as mountains, forests and even deserts. While the scenery is great, these areas usually lack communication infrastructure due to the prohibitive costs of laying fiber or building out a network of cellular/WiFi towers.
As a result, reconciling the physical environment with the need to meet growing connectivity demands has become a major challenge for train operators.