This article first appeared in the Railway-News magazine Issue 5 2021.
It is widely recognised that 5G technology will one day be a crucial element in making passengers on a train or bus feel digitally ‘at home’.
However, there are still practical barriers to harnessing 5G to deliver tangible benefits to passengers across the network in a realistic timeframe in the short term. Content caching at the vehicle edge is a promising solution to this dilemma.
In recent years, the demand for the use of streaming services (such as Netflix, Disney+ etc.) has increased dramatically, and this trend will continue, generating massive and growing data consumption. In addition, consumers now expect to be able to use these services wherever and whenever they want, especially when they have free time, which fits perfectly with the rail and public transport environment.
With regard to the network requirements, delivering to the edge remains a tremendous challenge. The increasing data consumption from a number of passengers carried on different train lines requires significant infrastructure yet to be put into place (such as the number of masts or base stations) covering all rail lines. This will take years and involves major investments. So in our view, 5G technology alone will struggle to deliver the fully connected journey that passengers expect.
Is there an interim way, affordable to all stakeholders, to accelerate the capability we seek in terms of full 5G adoption?
On-board content caching to offload data traffic from the vehicle’s network: this reduces data consumption costs while improving the digital experience of passengers.
In this case, the combination of the content delivery network technology and in-vehicle hosting capability with today’s standard LTE/5G and wifi will reduce operating costs and significantly improve the service level for passengers.
The delivery of VOD streaming platforms or applications to the home already relies on content delivery network solutions to ensure quality delivery of content to end-user devices.
PaxLife Innovations introduce railSTACK, the in-vehicle cloud hosting software platform offering passengers digital services on board.
PaxLife's CEO, Ralf Cabos, will discuss 5G, connectivity, and the management of rail data consumption at IT-TRANS 2022.
PaxLife Innovations is delighted to be a Silver Sponsor at the World Passenger Festival, taking place on 5 - 6 October 2021 in Amsterdam.
Enabling virtually unlimited onboard WiFi bandwidth for passengers to stream media, while preserving the vehicles’ existing network for other uses.
PaxLife Innovations: How to answer passengers’ evolving demands for increased bandwidth, uninterrupted connectivity and personalised travel.
Use the form opposite to get in touch with PaxLife Innovations directly to discuss any requirements you might have.