Onboard connectivity boost for rail passengers

March 11, 2019 //By Jean-Pierre Joosting
Onboard connectivity boost for rail passengers
According to Frost & Sullivan, railroads in Europe and North America are in a state of transition, with demand for economic and fuel-efficient modes of travel causing a surge in traffic volumes.

Recent analysis by Frost & Sullivan finds that the total passenger rail connectivity market is expected to be worth $9.77 billion by 2025, led by Western Europe and followed by North America and Eastern Europe. Much of this growth is expected to be driven by collaborations among railway industry participants, digital technology providers, and connectivity solution providers to offer connectivity and onboard entertainment to improve the overall passenger experience.

"Railways' shift to advanced 4G Long-term Evolution (LTE) technology from the traditional Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway (GSM-R) through partnerships with mobile service providers will improve mobile connectivity all along the railway line," said Guruguhan Nataraj, Senior Research Analyst, Mobility. "Investments in erecting mobile network towers similar to wayside communications-based train control (CBTC) on the rail routes and equipping trains with mobile network boosters will enable consistent connectivity for passengers and increase passenger rail traffic."

Nataraj notes that factors such as geography and topography play a vital role in ensuring seamless quality of service on railroads – for example tunnels, mountainous regions, and remote areas along the track length make it more difficult to set up connectivity systems.

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