In a world of ever-increasing connectivity demands, Icomera’s industry-leading data traffic shaping tool IcoShape has been designed to reduce the impact of heavy bandwidth usage. Specifically, IcoShape empowers transport operators to utilise their available bandwidth more efficiently by categorising and then prioritising / throttling and / or blocking links as desired. This helps better manage data costs, optimise the quality of service, and improve overall passenger satisfaction levels.
In this article, I will outline some of the different ways in which transport operators can leverage IcoShape to achieve a variety of passenger-focused and operational goals.
Passenger-Focused Data Traffic Shaping
If passenger Wi-Fi solutions are to live up to their productivity promise, it‘s imperative that the service on offer works well; transport operators simply cannot afford to deliver poor quality, unreliable Internet connectivity to those travelling.
Using IcoShape’s easy-to-navigate graphical interface, Wi-Fi traffic usage is broken down by service type, delivering a simple way to view where any inefficiencies might be occurring. Based on the viewable data, transport operators can then take action(s) to ensure that data-intensive applications do not congest the network.
For example, they may wish to set limitations on data-heavy applications (e.g. streaming services) during peak hours, to help ensure the available bandwidth can be shared equally amongst all passengers. The decision could also be taken to set Operating System (OS) updates to low priority for passengers, or to block them entirely, so that these do not use up the available bandwidth unnecessarily or incur significant data costs.
Alternatively, the decision might be taken to use IcoShape to prioritise business-related services within peak commuting times, so that passengers can continue working seamlessly as they travel to / from the office. For instance, video conferencing services such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom, and business-focused email applications such as Microsoft Outlook, could be granted higher priority over other services during weekday mornings and evenings.
Operators looking to provide the most optimal Wi-Fi service possible to their passengers could even choose to remove all data restrictions at certain days or times. Marketing free and unrestricted passenger Wi-Fi can then be used to encourage uptake on transport services, for tourist trips at weekends, for instance.
Read our Northern case study to find out how the UK rail operator leveraged IcoShape to reduce its data consumption by 20%.
Operationally Focused Data Traffic Shaping
As more and more onboard operational services leveraging Internet connectivity become business-critical, it may well become prudent for transport operators to prioritise bandwidth for these. This can be done within IcoShape by prioritising traffic for operational services such as staff Wi-Fi or onboard digital video surveillance systems over passenger Wi-Fi, for example.
Of course, it’s also possible to use IcoShape to combine a variety of different methodologies when it comes to delivering the prime passenger experience, while still intelligently managing data costs. Furthermore, Icomera can offer best practice guidance based on proven settings designed to ensure that data costs are controlled, while still allowing those travelling to benefit from the best possible experience, simplifying the process. With the right setup, transport operators are well placed to make sure that the available bandwidth is shared most sensibly and fairly between its passengers and / or any onboard systems which require Internet connectivity.
In conclusion, IcoShape provides a powerful means to monitor and manage data flows within the network. By leveraging intelligent traffic shaping, transport operators can achieve high levels of onboard capacity, and work to ensure that this is then used to its fullest capability.