Further cementing its role as the global leader in mobile Internet connectivity for public transport, ENGIE Solutions subsidiary Icomera has launched a trinity of next-generation products, which deliver a ground-breaking 5G-enabled platform.
COVID-19 has undoubtedly put pressure on the public transport industry to accelerate its digital transition. Icomera’s new hardware, connectivity protocol and management software have been designed from the ground up to meet the increasing requirements of both passengers and operators in the industry’s data-driven, Internet-enabled recovery. Together, the products combine to form a powerful, fully integrated platform, which delivers cost efficiency, long-term reliability and provable results for operators, and helps ensure a smarter, safer, greener future for everyone.
Next-generation Onboard Hardware – Housing up to four 5G-enabled radio modems and specifically built for rail applications, the Icomera X5 mobile connectivity and applications gateway connects passengers and systems to the centralised onboard connectivity network. In real-world trials, the X5 successfully achieved industry-record-breaking levels of throughput, surpassing the benchmark referred to in the public transport industry as ‘the Gigabit Train’. By providing the onboard connectivity, processing power, and storage for a whole host of passenger-related and operational applications, the X5 minimises the need for additional hardware such as media servers or video recorders to be installed on vehicles. As the central component in 5G-ready onboard networks and working seamlessly alongside other next-generation hardware, such as Icomera’s rail-grade SynAPse AP01 access point, the X5 also allows passengers to enjoy Wi-Fi with faster browsing speeds.
Next-generation Connectivity Protocol – SureWAN™ is Icomera’s patented core technology – It allows Icomera’s mobile connectivity and applications gateways, such as the X5, to aggregate all available cellular capacity across multiple cellular modems in parallel, delivering the fastest, most reliable connection possible to a moving vehicle – Other communications networks such as trackside and satellite are also supported. The technology’s fourth major update, SureWAN™ 4.0 enables 5G speeds by offering increased throughput, lowering latency and reducing data packet loss. In real world terms, this means that passengers utilising Icomera’s onboard Wi-Fi for services such as Internet browsing and video conferencing calls can benefit from an even “snappier” user experience, while the connectivity for Internet-enabled onboard systems is faster and more reliable than ever.
Next-generation Cloud-based Management Tools – Putting future-proofed functionality at operators’ fingertips, Icomera’s Network Insights and Control (ICONIC) software tools provide enhanced monitoring of fleets and Icomera systems. Using machine learning technology to automatically raise alerts, ICONIC allows for deep-level real-time and historical data analysis of an onboard network, systems and hardware, regardless of a fleet’s size. Taking advantage of this wealth of data, operators are well placed to independently resolve alerts when they occur, and to intelligently predict potential issues before they have any detrimental impact, thus helping to maintain an “always online” experience for their passengers.
Mats Karlsson, Icomera’s Chief Technology Officer and inventor of its core connectivity technology, co-founded the company in 1999. He explains: “The Icomera platform has always been about far more than a single element working in isolation, and this triad of next-generation products further demonstrates our holistic approach to technological innovation. Together, these core products enable us to continue delivering truly end-to-end solutions for our clients and their passengers, as we embark on this new era of mobile connectivity.”
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