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Common Questions

Questions we are commonly asked

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 in helping people have a better understanding of what it is they are buying. Below are some of the most common questions we receive.

If anything, 4G makes your onboard Wi-Fi even more successful. Since Icomera’s technology makes use of multiple cellular signals at the same time in parallel, the addition of 4G simply improves the quality of signal that our solution is aggregating.

The growing prevalence of 4G means that people will increasingly become more and more used to being connected wherever they are. However, passenger usage of 4G on their own devices is dependent on the coverage of their chosen carrier along the route of their journey. Not all carriers will be able to guarantee comprehensive coverage along all routes which is why it is important to use an onboard Internet solution that can intelligently utilise the signals of multiple carriers.

It is also important to remember that 4G is still not exclusively used everywhere. The full roll-out will take time and some device owners will not choose 4G packages. Moreover, whilst many phones have 3G/4G cellular data, the majority of tablets and laptops do not necessarily also have it.

An onboard Wi-Fi solution is still the best way to meet passenger expectations: a stronger and more reliable connection, wherever you are and wherever you are going.

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 passenger 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 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.

Regardless of which Icomera solution you eventually choose, your passengers will benefit from a strong, reliable, high-speed Internet connection throughout their journey.

Outside of the onboard passenger Wi-Fi experience, it is important to remember that other applications can be served by Icomera’s solution platform. Fleet tracking and onboard condition monitoring apps can, for example, combine to improve the efficiency with which an operator manages the availability of vehicles in their fleet – a benefit that is passed on to passengers in the form of improved schedule adherence.

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.

Ultimately, deployment time is much more dependent on what works best for you; we will work closely with you to ensure minimum disruption to your fleet.

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 customers and customers’ passengers get quick, correct assistance when they need it.

If you are a transport operator or passenger experiencing problems while travelling on a service where we provide Wi-Fi, then please contact our Help Desk.

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:

  • Infotainment – engaging passengers with rich content, often cached on the vehicle, to inform and entertain them while giving transport operators the opportunity to find some revenue streams that can help offset the costs of supplying the solution
  • Security – in a world that is becoming more uncertain every day with threats 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

Wireless Internet is quickly becoming an essential part of any transport offering. As public Wi-Fi availability grows, passengers increasingly expect to be in constant communication with their work or social networks. Being ahead of the curve in this respect can be 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 customers have publicly reported increases in passenger numbers and ticket revenue and attributed these increases to the improvements in passenger satisfaction that comes from passenger Wi-Fi.

Remember that wireless Internet systems have other uses beyond passenger Wi-Fi. Icomera and its partners offer a range of additional applications to support the operator: CCTV apps that improve passenger safety; remote condition monitoring apps that reduce maintenance costs; eco-driving apps which save on fuel. All of these operate on our Open Platform as part of a single solution – it’s the core of how we can deliver a return on investment against so many different business cases.

“If you build it [they] will come” – Ray Kinsella, 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: streaming video, CCTV analysis, to name just a couple.

In five years’ time, we expect that LTE will be delivering around 600Mb/s to a single modem, giving us the possibility to deliver several Gb/s of connectivity to a vehicle.

Icomera works with a variety of technical and academic partners, including Ericsson, KTH, Chalmers and Sierra Wireless, to ensure that we are always a step ahead of the rest when it comes to technologies that support better and better connectivity to vehicles. We are already working with a consortium in Sweden on developing technologies for transport that will make the most of 5G once it arrives.