January 27th 2015 – Cardiff is the latest city to launch high-speed 4G Wi-Fi on their public transport, supported by mobile connectivity specialists, Icomera. Started in mid-January, the whole system will be rolled out over the next two months. More than 220 Cardiff Bus and Easy Way Travel vehicles, travelling in and around Cardiff and across to Newport, will be upgraded to use the new service. Importantly for the users, this fast new Wi-Fi will be completely free.
The project is part of a plan to improve the city’s digital infrastructure. In 2012, Cardiff was chosen to become one of the first 10 “super-connected” cities in the UK, receiving £8 million of funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s Urban Broadband Fund. Since then, free Wi-Fi hotspots have been increased all over the city and, as public Wi-Fi availability grows, people increasingly expect to be able to stay in constant communication with their work or social networks, wherever they are. This is a worldwide trend which has seen global mobile data consumption increase by 65% in the last year. Now it’s time for public transport to follow suit.
The Icomera solution will support 4G wireless Internet, whilst offering the option to add more applications should they prove necessary. With real-time reporting, Cardiff Council will also get up-to-the-minute feedback on Wi-Fi usage, allowing them to tailor their offering to best suit the city’s commuters and visitors.
Dave Palmer, Managing Director of Icomera UK, commented, “It’s very rewarding to see local government actively backing mobile connectivity in public transport; it’s something that can really affect the quality of travel for commuters. Moreover, digital connectivity across the city is vital for supporting Cardiff going forward, so integrating public transport into the growing digital framework makes sense.”
The Leader of the City of Cardiff Council, Councillor Phil Bale, said, “As a “super-connected city”, our aim is to provide seamless, high-speed Wi-Fi throughout Cardiff; this applies not just to our buildings, but to our vehicles as well. We also want to make public transport a more enjoyable and more viable option, offering an improved service that is favourable to commuting by car.”
About Cardiff Bus
Cardiff Bus is the main bus provider for Cardiff and the surrounding area with a long history of supporting passengers of the city. They carry 100,000 passengers a day on 3000 journeys, covering 27,000 miles.