Icomera, the world’s leading provider of integrated connectivity solutions for public transportation, welcomed Stephen Morgan MP to its UK headquarters in Chatham Maritime on Tuesday 9th January. The event, which was also attended by Councillor Lauren Edwards, the Labour and Co-operative Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Rochester and Strood, aimed to highlight the role that onboard Internet connectivity will play in the future of the UK rail industry.
Passenger Wi-Fi is one of the most prominent applications for Internet connectivity to and from the moving vehicle. Icomera’s guests were keen to discuss some of the latest technological developments turning travel time into productive time for UK rail commuters, and business and leisure passengers, as well as the other challenges that Icomera is working with the industry to solve.
Topics included identifying and improving cellular coverage issues along rail routes that negatively impact Wi-Fi performance, and expanding the range of communication networks that trains equipped with Icomera’s technology can utilise, to include dedicated private trackside networks and Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellite constellations. On board the trains themselves, upgrading to the latest 5G- and Wi-Fi 7-enabled equipment and data traffic management tools would alleviate some of the current connectivity bottlenecks arising from current day demand surpassing the capacity of previous technology generations.
Mr Morgan and Cllr Edwards’ visit also included a tour of Icomera’s facilities, speaking with some of Icomera’s 120 UK-based staff and learning more about the company’s 20-year history of working with UK rail operators, which began on the InterCity East Coast route now operated by LNER.
Icomera’s SVP for the UK, Peter Kingsland, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussions about the future of the rail sector: “We are delighted to have hosted Stephen Morgan MP and Cllr Lauren Edwards and I hope we have furthered their insights into the fantastic environmental, social and economic benefits that come from accelerating the rail industry’s digital transition.
“The one thing that many of the technologies and strategies underpinning the future of rail have in common is the importance of, and reliance on, real-time or on-demand access to data from trains while they are in service.
“At Icomera we see a growing proportion of the Internet connectivity we are delivering to trains being used by Internet-of-Things (IoT) applications for remote monitoring and data analytics, improving the efficiency of rail operations.
“Combined with the passenger services we support, we are aiming to make every journey more time-efficient for passengers, and more cost-effective for rail operators”.