This article first appeared in the Railway-News magazine, Issue 3 2022.
More than ever, rail passengers are demanding a stable and robust wifi connection while onboard, especially to enable streaming of video content from the services they subscribe to.
The global passenger rail transportation market is expected to reach $307 billion in 2025, a CAGR of 6%, even after the pandemic put a halt to most public transportation. As many lifestyle and work-related changes have re-defined people’s expectations of connectivity and consumption of the internet, there is a significant expectation among rail passengers that train operators can match these expectations. In particular, video streaming was one activity that grew substantially during the pandemic, resulting in a spike of 58% more time spent than prior to 2020.
With rail travel accelerating, passengers won’t settle for the same old experience that train operators delivered before the pandemic. One service metric that rail operators focus on is perceived passenger journey time, which can be dramatically improved with improved onboard wifi connectivity and service options. Prior to the pandemic, internet connectivity while onboard ranked dead last in terms of passenger satisfaction, worse even than on-time performance. For rail operators, the need to improve the existing infrastructure and provide better internet connectivity to enhance the overall customer experience has become more critical now than ever before.
Netskrt has set out to shine a light on internet dark spots by enabling streaming services in any location. To date, internet connectivity on passenger trains has typically been so poor that passengers made do with simply being able to email and perform limited web browsing. To compensate, some rail transportation operators provide walled-garden video-on-demand (VOD) systems, but too often, the options are stale compared to what passengers indulge in at home, and take-up of these services has been poor. On top of that, the cost to rail operators of licence fees for video content can be substantial. This led to a poor passenger experience, especially as the trend towards video streaming services has grown.
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Explore how rail operators can give passengers what they really want — access to streaming, high-def internet video.
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