Streaming Video on the Rails

How To Ensure A Great Viewing Experience

Maximize brand value, improve customer satisfaction, and ensure repeat passengers.

onboard Wi-Fi

As consumers return to traveling, they are carrying with them an expectation developed during the pandemic: the ability to stream content. As streaming consumption has overtaken PayTV, people are more likely than ever to form their opinion about an experience with travel choice in relation to their ability to stream the content they want to watch and carry out other online activities. Passengers have the rare opportunity to reclaim lost time. Traveling by rail, for example, allows someone to do what they want without having the responsibility of operating the vehicle.

But providing a reliable and consistent signal with enough bandwidth to support everyone’s online activities is challenging. Rail operators must deal with inconsistent cellular signal strength, especially when moving through rural areas, which affects available bandwidth, not knowing what passengers might want to stream to pre-position the content in local caches, and even the construction of the carriages themselves, which can degrade cellular signal strength for passengers using their own connectivity.

Of course, there are solutions to those challenges. One is a smarter use of bandwidth such as using traffic shaping. But traffic shaping alone won’t solve the problem all by itself. Combined with local caching, bandwidth can be significantly optimized to ensure that passengers’ content requests are served locally rather than backhauled. But even those two solutions won’t provide a panacea. You’ll need better logging as well to ensure that you have the optics on network performance to better optimize. And finally, especially for streaming, you’ll need a solution to ensure you are title-aware. This means you can understand which bitrate of a title to cache first so playback can start immediately while the other bitrates are cached in the background and available if a client needs to switch. Still, solving these challenges are complicated by the many different passenger use cases. Optimize the network for the business user and you may ruin the experience for a family trying to watch a movie or a younger traveler playing an online game.

There’s no doubt that you could build this yourself. But is that your core competency? The Netskrt eCDN provides a “hands-off” solution to provide better bandwidth management, local caching, logging for optimization all to improve the onboard Wi-Fi experience in a cost-effective manner. Just allowing bandwidth-intensive activities like streaming without implementing any solutions isn’t cost-effective. And just banning streaming will surely lead to dissatisfied passengers. With Netskrt eCDN, you’ll get an integrated platform that will improve the Wi-Fi experience without breaking the bank. And when you can provide a great Wi-Fi experience, customer satisfaction goes up, brand equity increases, and people are more likely to be repeat travelers.

With Netskrt, though, you aren’t just solving today’s challenges. You are implementing a flexible, cloud-based platform with onboard compute and storage. This will allow you to implement operational services, like capturing and storing sensor or CCTV raw footage, or even new revenue-generating solutions like advertising.

Although you need to solve the Wi-Fi experience challenges, you also need to implement a solution that will serve your long-term needs. Netskrt eCDN meets both of those needs in an economical way with little to no interaction needed from your engineers or operational personnel.

Download the whitepaper here.

This article was originally published by Netskrt Systems.

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