Train operators around the world face a major dilemma. While putting Wi-Fi on their trains boosts ticket sales and cuts costs, interruptions to the service leave passengers frustrated and itching to vent their spleen on Twitter. Clearly, faster, more robust connections are needed, but in a world of patchy mobile coverage and demand bottlenecks how can train operators achieve this?
"Train companies and suppliers and even some mobile network operators are starting to collaborate over innovative solutions to this problem." Says BWCS CEO Graham Wilde, who will chair the tenth annual Wi-Fi on Trains Conference – Train Communications Systems 2016 (London 8-9 June). "We are seeing some really innovative solutions in this sector and these will be thoroughly thrashed out by an array of operators and technology companies form around the world."
The conference is firmly focused on getting train operators to share their real-life stories of putting Wi-Fi onto their trains, fighting to keep the customers happy and struggling to add new services and increase bandwidth.
US train operator Amtrak will speak at the Conference giving the scoop on how its much-vaunted track-side network trials have developed. Indian Railways, the largest train company in the world, will relate its experiences of trying to get Wi-Fi onto trains and stations across its vast network and Deutsche Bahn will detail the revamping and relaunching of its Wi-Fi on trains services.
In addition, Transport for London will present plans for wireless connections on its Crossrail trains and overground and underground services. Other speakers from train operators in Russia, Argentina, Denmark, Spain, Italy and across the UK will be sharing their experiences and challenges at the two-day conference.
Gavin James – Project Sponsor of the Digital Railways Group in the Department for Transport and the man behind the government’s proposed £50 million investment in free, on-train Wi-Fi in the UK, will report back on the consultation that he announced exclusively at last year’s Wi-Fi on Trains Conference.
"In a great speech last year, Gavin launched ‘a call to arms’ for the Wi-Fi on Trains sector and this year he will return to tell us the results of that consultation, as we look at how the industry may move forward," reports BWCS’s Wilde. "This event has long been at the forefront of moves to install and improve Wi-Fi services on trains, not just in the UK, but across the world and this year’s programme reflects that."
To reserve your place at Train Communications Systems 2016, please use the online order form at the Train Comms website or contact Ross Parsons at BWCS.
The conference will take place in London from 8-9 June. Places are extremely limited and the event is selling out fast. Tickets will be distributed on a first come first serve basis.
The Conference is being sponsored by Icomera (Gold), Nomad Digital (Silver), BA Infrastructure (Bronze), 21Net, (Cocktails), Teldat (Lunch Day 1) and Radwin (Lunch Day 2).