How Satellite Enables Nextgen Freight Rail

How Satellite Enables Nextgen Freight Rail
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How Satellite Enables Nextgen Freight Rail

This article first appeared in the Railway-News magazine, Issue 1 2023.

By Todd Cotts, Senior Principal Product Marketing Manager, Mobility at Intelsat.

Everything today is connected, from IoT sensors on goods and machines used for management and monitoring, to smart devices and data-rich applications used for communications with crew, operations and other stakeholders.

That is why today’s freight rail industry is under significant pressure to transform its communications strategy to support the rapid rise of Industry 4.0 and the evolution to 5G and unified networks. By equipping trains with next-generation communications capabilities, freight rail companies will be better equipped to benefit from increased economic efficiencies across their operations, improved safety for crew and communities, reduced downtime of equipment, and a greater contribution to sustainability goals. In addition to crew and operations, domestic and international stakeholders within the transport and logistics ecosystem will also benefit from nextgeneration freight rail communications, including customs, shippers and end customers.

But for freight rail companies to realise the full advantages of Industry 4.0 and unified 5G networks, freight trains must be able to securely connect to the cloud – and stay connected. This requires reliable, high-performing connectivity everywhere the tracks run, including areas where terrestrial connectivity is not available or dependable. That is why advances in satellite technology must play a vital role in nextgeneration freight rail communications.

At Intelsat, we work alongside other network technologies, including LTE, 5G and IoT, for seamless integration. Our fleet of 50+ satellites, combined with teleport gateways, comprise the world’s most extensive and secure communications network on the planet.

Built on our integrated satellite and terrestrial network, Intelsat FlexMove is a solution that enables freight rail companies to ensure their trains (and crew) have uninterrupted and secure high-speed connectivity wherever they roll. With data rates up to 20x faster than legacy Mobile Satellite Services at a fraction of the cost, combined with flexible service and hardware bundle options, freight rail operators can ensure every train stays connected everywhere. And with its next-generation network vision of software-defined satellites and multi-orbit strategy, Intelsat will continue to be on track to meet the evolving connectivity demands and requirements of freight rail companies.

Download the full PDF here.

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