The Challenge of Mobile Internet Connectivity
Traditionally, one of the principal methods employed to provide Internet connectivity to passengers and onboard systems has been to facilitate direct connections from smart devices to cell towers. However, this system cannot meet the ever-increasing demand for data, since a single Mobile Network Operator (MNO) is often unable to offer sufficient coverage and capacity along the entirety of a vehicle’s route. For passengers, this means slow webpage load times, video buffering, broken VPN tunnels and dropped conference calls.
Leading the Way for Over Two Decades
Invented in 1999 and improved upon ever since, SureWAN™ is Icomera’s proprietary core technology. Specifically designed for use on public transport, SureWAN empowers Icomera’s multi-modem mobile access routers (such as the 5G-enabled X5) to aggregate all available cellular capacity across multiple cellular modems in parallel, delivering the fastest, most reliable connection possible to the moving vehicle.
Seamless Link Handover: When the connection from a particular MNO is lost, the Icomera router retains all other available connections, improving the onboard connectivity’s reliability, even in regions with sparse network capacity. The seamless transition between different networks provides an always-online experience for passengers and onboard systems, reducing data packet delay or loss.
Capacity Aggregation: The SureWAN algorithm allows the modems in Icomera’s routers to intelligently connect to multiple cellular and other communications networks simultaneously, aggregating all available carriers to accomplish maximum data capacity, coverage, availability and redundancy, and to minimise data loss from handover. Since 4G, 5G, trackside and even satellite networks can all be supported as part of a single solution, SureWAN delivers higher throughput than would otherwise be available from just a single network. This enables passengers to enjoy more time online, and onboard systems to transmit data back to base in real-time, on demand.
Least-Cost Routing: By setting priorities on different networks, SureWAN can prioritise data transfer over lower cost links (e.g. rail yard / bus depot Wi-Fi) when such links come into play.
SureWAN™ 4.0: A Fourth Generation of Innovation
The technology’s fourth major update, SureWAN 4.0 enables 5G speeds by further optimising how the algorithm aggregates multiple communications networks. SureWAN 4.0 delivers significantly improved system performance by increasing throughput, lowering latency and reducing data packet loss, making the algorithm more responsive and efficient than ever before. Increased throughput means that more data can be transferred within a given amount of time, lower latency means that there is a reduction in the time it takes for a data transfer to complete, and reduced data packet loss means that fewer data packets need to be re-sent.
These latest improvements to SureWAN mean that passengers utilising Icomera’s onboard Wi-Fi for services such as Internet browsing, VOIP and video conferencing calls can benefit from an even faster, “snappier” user experience, while the connectivity for Internet-enabled onboard systems is faster and more reliable than ever.
Holistic Hardware, Protocol & Management Tools
SureWAN 4.0 has been designed from the ground up to seamlessly integrate with Icomera’s onboard hardware and cloud-based management software, forming a powerful and fully realised platform. By working together in harmony, our hardware, software and technology combine to deliver cost efficiency, long-term reliability and provable results.