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Published on : Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Chiltern Railways customers can now save time, data and no longer have to worry about connecting to separate on train and station Wi-Fi thanks to the company, digital connectivity experts WiFi SPARK and Icomera and using EE ’s superfast 4G network. This first for the rail industry enables passengers to experience a fast, reliable Wi-Fi connection, regardless of whether they are on the station platform or on the train.
Once the passenger has stepped onto the station, they only have to authenticate once to log onto the free Wi-Fi, and then a state of the art “SPARK ® controller” manages the rest, enabling the customer’s Wi-Fi connection to roam between the station system and on-train. When the train approaches a station, the onboard Wi-Fi temporarily hands over to the station Wi-Fi to give the passenger the best connectivity available, saving network costs. Passengers will not experience a loss of connection.
Passengers can be reassured that the utmost attention has been given to personal privacy and security as all data sent between the systems is fully encrypted. In addition, all Chiltern Railways stations and trains are certified ‘Friendly WiFi’ locations and meet the industry standard for filtering, blocking access to sites containing inappropriate content.
For the project, WiFi SPARK installed the latest Wi-Fi infrastructure in stations and provided the Chiltern Railways service both for passengers and Chiltern staff and guests. Icomera provided Chiltern’s onboard Wi-Fi technology and together they have delivered the state of the art roaming ensuring a seamless connection between station and train. EE provides the connectivity for the Chiltern onboard Wi-Fi and is currently working with the company to upgrade the trackside infrastructure and deliver a continuous connection along the route.
Paul Bowden, Acting Commercial Director of Chiltern Railways, said “This really is next generation Wi-Fi. Passengers want to be continuously connected to fast and reliable Wi-Fi as they move through every step of their journey. This collaboration with WiFi SPARK, Icomera and EE provides Chiltern Railways customers with a seamless service from the moment they arrive at the station and is part of our ongoing commitment to provide the very best digital train experience for our passengers.”
Dean Moody, Chief Commercial Officer for WiFi SPARK said “We knew that Chiltern Railways are innovators, they want to push to continually offer the best passenger experience and service that they can, which is why we worked closely with Icomera and EE and really challenged ourselves to design a solution that would deliver both a technically advanced solution and a world-class passenger experience.”