Cisco wants to put superfast Wi-Fi on trains

ScotRail will trial 300Mbps on-board internet until March 2018

Five companies including Cisco have teamed up to provide the infrastructure and service for superfast internet on trains.

Cisco, ScotRail, CGI, Network Rail Telecoms and Wittos have formed a coalition to create a proof of concept called Project SWIFT, financed by InnovateUK and RSSB.

It will offer passengers speeds of up to 300Mbps on routes between Glasgow and Edinburgh and, if the trials proves successful, it may be rolled out to other train companies in the UK.

Advertisement - Article continues below

ScotRail's service will start later in 2017 and be trialled until March 2018. As well as improving passenger connectivity, it will also enable other services to be rolled out on trains, such as identifying where there may be spaces on a train that appears to be overcrowded, allowing phone calls in mobile network blackspots via VoIP and offering more in-depth safety and security data to train operatives.

The group said it has developed the technology to vastly improve the service currently available on trains. According to research by Global Wireless Solutions (GWS), 33% of internet requests on trains fail (although that applies to mobile data rather than on-train Wi-Fi). It wants to offer a reliable service for the 1.4 billion journeys taken by train every year.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Scot Gardner, chief executive of Cisco UK & Ireland, said: "If the UK is to truly benefit from what digital technologies have to offer, then connectivity has to be a given even when travelling at 140mph. If only a fraction of the time that we spend travelling is made more productive, the potential for commuters, the train companies and the UK as a whole is immense."

On a long-term basis, Project SWIFT will also identifying the opportunity for industry. Working with government, industry, research institutions and start-ups to accelerate innovation, it seeks to help operators provide better and more reliable services.

Advertisement - Article continues below

"We are delighted to be a part of this project," Rob Shorthouse, ScotRail Alliance communications director added. "Our customers consistently tell us that one of the things that they expect on their journey is fast, reliable Wi-Fi.

"This pilot scheme, which we are undertaking on behalf of the entire rail industry, will allow us to fully understand how we take our current on-train WiFi to the next level. We are really excited to be involved."

Featured Resources

The case for a marketing content hub

Transform your digital marketing to deliver customer expectations

Download now

Fast, flexible and compliant e-signatures for global businesses

Be at the forefront of digital transformation with electronic signatures

Download now

Why CEOS should care about the move to SAP S/4HANA

And how they can accelerate business value

Download now

IT faces new security challenges in the wake of COVID-19

Beat the crisis by learning how to secure your network

Download now
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/mobile/5g/355859/businesses-are-building-their-future-with-5g-and-wi-fi-6-in-mind
5G

Businesses are building their future with 5G and Wi-Fi 6 in mind

1 Jun 2020
Visit/infrastructure/network-internet/355792/intel-releases-wi-fi-and-bluetooth-driver-updates-for
Network & Internet

Intel releases Wi-Fi and Bluetooth driver updates for Windows 10

26 May 2020
Visit/wifi-hotspots/31707/best-mesh-wi-fi
wifi & hotspots

Best mesh Wi-Fi 2019

28 Apr 2020
Visit/security/vulnerability/354867/billion-plus-wi-fi-devices-hit-by-kr00k-vulnerability
vulnerability

Billion-plus Wi-Fi devices hit by serious Kr00k vulnerability

27 Feb 2020

Most Popular

Visit/operating-systems/ios/355935/apple-confirms-serious-bugs-in-ios-135
iOS

Apple confirms serious bugs in iOS 13.5

4 Jun 2020
Visit/mobile/5g/355911/the-uk-pivots-to-japan-for-5g-equipment
5G

The UK looks to Japan and South Korea for 5G equipment

4 Jun 2020
Visit/server-storage/high-performance-computing-hpc/355916/inside-the-hawk-supercomputer
high-performance computing (HPC)

AMD virtual tour takes us inside Europe's Hawk supercomputer

4 Jun 2020