We are the pioneers of wireless Internet technology for moving vehicles and have continued to develop the technology, establishing ourselves as the industry leader. In that time, we have answered many questions and offered our services to help people have a better understanding of what it is they are buying.
Below are some of the most common questions we receive:
If anything, when it rolls out, 5G technology makes your Onboard Wi-Fi even more successful. Icomera’s technology makes use of multiple cellular signals simultaneously, the addition of 5G simply improves the quality of the signal that our solution is aggregating.
Comprehensive 5G network coverage is not expected for several years, therefore having a scalable, future-proof connectivity solution will allow operators to meet growing data demands and presents a significant competitive advantage over other forms of transport.
While many phones have cellular data capability built-in, relying on passenger devices to connect directly to cell towers over their journeys provides unreliable connections, increasing passenger frustration at not being able to stay connected.
Mobile networks are not designed with large, fast-moving groups of users in mind and, as such, a good experience for one passenger can come at the cost of a bad experience for another, leading to a generally unpredictable experience for all Wi-Fi users onboard.
We offer a passenger experience tailored to suit your needs. The Wi-Fi service you offer to your passengers can be a free, or a paid-for service. Internet speeds or data-caps can be set by ticket class and passenger information can be collected through a registration process or surveys hosted on your custom Passenger Wi-Fi portal. Marketing comms and offers can also be pushed to returning passengers, opening up an additional advertising revenue stream for operators.
Icomera’s onboard Wi-Fi service can be further enhanced with Passenger Infotainment – media content which is stored locally to maximise the bandwidth of the Internet solution. This media content can be updated frequently from a remote management system, keeping the experience fresh for returning passengers.
Deployment times can vary. As soon as we can get access to the vehicles, we can start to install the system. For the 2014 Ryder Cup, we completed 149 installations in 18 days for Stagecoach Bus, although most operators prefer to install a solution gradually over several months, and rail installations usually require more time to plan and arrange bespoke cabling.
Although our products are extremely reliable, we know that things can sometimes go wrong and, when they do, you need can-do people who know how to solve problems. That’s why we have a dedicated team of skilled technicians on standby to ensure both our clients and their passengers get quick, correct assistance when they need it.
Our field is one that is always expanding and offering new services to best serve customers. Current trends that we see in the market include:
- IoT for Transport – Vehicles are increasingly connected and increasingly intelligent, so there are many devices onboard sending data back to operational control centres, operational HQs, monitoring the health of the train, the performance of the train, the capacity, occupancy of the seats etc. These devices and applications can all be linked via a single connectivity backbone, reducing the need for extra cabling, maintenance, and expenditure
- Security – The world is becoming more uncertain every day, with the existence of threats both local and foreign. Icomera is developing cutting-edge solutions, with the industry’s best security technologists, in areas such as behavioural analysis (is someone behaving aggressively?), pattern matching (has someone left a bag behind?), and facial recognition (alert the relevant authority that a face resembling a known threat is present on a public vehicle)
- Seamless Journeys – Connecting passengers from door-to-door and providing them with Wi-Fi and Real-Time Information throughout their journey (without requiring them to log in multiple times as they move from mode to mode). Integration with applications such as ride-sharing and bicycle rental apps can get passengers from A to B to C seamlessly, and with minimal impact on the environment
Wireless Internet has quickly become an essential part of any transport offering. With almost ubiquitous access to public Wi-Fi, passengers have come to expect to be in constant communication with their work or social networks. Keeping up with this trend offers a big competitive advantage over other forms of transport; if there is no way for passengers to be productive during their journeys, many may choose to drive instead.
Our clients have publicly reported increases in passenger numbers and ticket revenue and have directly attributed these increases to the improvements in passenger satisfaction that comes from providing Passenger Wi-Fi.
“If you build it [they] will come” – Field of Dreams, 1989
What we know for sure is that the more capacity we build, the faster it gets devoured by ever-increasingly demanding use-cases: video and music streaming, online gaming, digital video surveillance & monitoring, video analysis, to name just a few.
In five years’ time, we expect that in conjunction with 5G technology, we will be able to deliver up to several Gbps total capacity to each vehicle, satisfying even the data consumption needs of passengers and onboard systems.