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Promising LTE trials could boost train Wi-Fi

Faster, more reliable Wi-Fi connections could soon be coming to Britain’s train network following tests conducted by Ericsson and train manufacturer Bombardier.

The two companies recently teamed up to trial LTE networks on trains at simulated speeds of up to 124mph, in a bid to assess how the networks supported communications-based train control (CBTC) and multiservice solutions, such as CCTV, voice, platform information, advertising and on-board Wi-Fi.

CBTC uses high-res location determination to provide more accurate train positions, enabling operators to manage traffic safer and more efficiently by making optimal use of tracks and trains with a swift demand response.

During the CBTC tests, the LTE networks achieved uplink and downlink latencies far below the threshold of 100 milliseconds and packet losses approaching zero. With anything less than 0.5 per cent considered a pass mark, the tests were viewed as very encouraging. Meanwhile, quality of service capabilities built into Ericsson's equipment allowed for the pre-emption and prioritisation of mission-critical railway services.

Charlotta Sund, Head of Customer Group Industry & Society at Ericsson, says: “The results of the tests performed to date are very promising and we will continue to test a variety of modems to ensure we can provide robust LTE networks for rail applications.

“We aim to develop solutions that ensure enhanced rail safety through communications-based train control and CCTV, as well as enhanced entertainment for passengers through services such as voice, platform information, advertising and Wi-Fi.”

CEO steps down

In other Ericsson-related news, the company is on the hunt for a new CEO after Hans Vestberg stepped down with immediate effect after 28 years with the company, seven of them as chief exec.

Announcing the departure, chairman of the board Leif Johansson thanked the former CEO for leading the company through a period of significant transformation and building strong relationships.

However, he added that it was the view of the board of directors that the time had come for a new leader to spearhead the company’s next phase of development.

Executive vice president and CFO Jan Frykhammar will assume the CEO position until a successor is in office.

Written by for Comms Express

Image: den-belitsky/iStockADNFCR-1186-ID-801824592-ADNFCR

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