Arriva Trains Case Study

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Free Station WiFi

In a connected world, travelling can be a frustrating experience. No one likes playing hunt the hotspot, whether they need to check a vital business e-mail or simply find directions to their destination. Travellers are increasingly expecting connectivity at all stages of their journey. Arriva Trains is now able to offer free station WiFi at Cardiff Central, giving travellers a chance to get online for free with no fuss or hassle.

Goal – Free WiFi for Passengers

Train travel has changed since the days of freezing cold waiting rooms, stale sausage rolls and luke warm tea. Stations now boast high street shops and comfy cafes. Travellers expect WiFi connection at every stage of their journey. Arriva Trains wanted to further improve what Cardiff Station offered by installing a free WiFi service so that travellers could easily check e-mails, catch up with friends and family on social media or simply look up travel information.

With a wealth of experience in creating public WiFi networks, as well as an understanding of working in architecturally sensitive buildings, WiFi SPARK was the logical choice for this project. WiFi SPARK created an Arriva branded User Experience Portal (UEP) providing direct customer access, along with a filter to ensure the system was not used to access inappropriate content. The UEP is configured to react to whichever device the user has, making the process simple to navigate. It also remembers the customer and logs them in automatically the next time they visit.

Solution – SPARK® Gateway

The first part of the project was to fit a strategic number of high quality Cisco brand access points across all of the station‘s public areas, including shops, waiting rooms and coffee shops. With this done, the SPARK® Gateway was installed on the network, to manage traffic and direct it to the Arriva Trains branded customer portal (UEP). The portal displays a simple registration form, which just requires a few details from the customer. It also has useful information for travellers, telling them about station facilities, train timetables and providing a link to the ticket booking service. As Cardiff Central is a gateway station to Wales, the portal is bi-lingual.

The SPARK® Gateway provides extensive reporting and analysis for Arriva Trains, as well as a marketing API feed, which sends data in real time to their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Arriva exclusively own any data gathered by the system; it does not belong to WiFi SPARK or any other third party. This data can then be used by Arriva to enhance their marketing and promotional activities.

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