Therefore the fact is: Connectivity has become a lifestyle
The consequence is that this feature is expected not only on public places and buildings or shopping centers, but also on long distance and urban trains, as well as in city range metro`s , buses and trams.
Mobile Internet in public transportation therefore has become an important point to consider, beyond the traditional train- and connection information on fixed overhead screens. Even the long hesitating airline industry is moving in that direction with their ”In flight communication” offering.
Competition is increasingly driving the uptake of new broadband wireless services in trains. In almost every European country where rival operators are battling it out for customers on the same or similar routes, we have seen the launch of on-board Wi-Fi. First, on the carriages operated by the newcomer as it tries to differentiate its service, then, very quickly after, on the incumbent’s trains – as it feels stung into action.
What is the business case?
- Study of ridership patterns showed that adding Wi-Fi to trains had, by itself, raised ridership figures by 3% across the board
- Translated to larger fleets could raise tens of millions of €/£/$ in extra ticket revenues
- There is no unique business model to adopt when considering Wi-Fi services on-board
- There are actually 3 different models for charging for the services and looks like free or mixed charging are becoming most popular alternatives
So, what are the potential benefits for an operator to justify such an investment?
This IP connectivity for internet access offers the unique possibility for the operators to be in real time contact with their passengers not only via the fixed overhead video screens, but more important and efficient directly interactive on the customer personal devices.
The sale of advertisement space and entertainment features is a perfect platform for additional considerable revenues by these unsurpassed “location, real time and focus” features. That is THE advantage of the “mobile case”.
Through the train log-in process a direct startup “operator” screen can be presented for important information related to the travel and the availability of specific services.
P.I.M.: Passenger Information Management and P.E.M.: Passenger Experience Management therefore become the buzz words in successful mastering the efficiency and success of on board WiFi in modern public transportation systems.
Specific Real Time information about operator/train related issues:
- Current location
- Recommended switch over
- In the case of delays or disturbances will increase the passenger experience extremely positive
- “Frequent traveler” club loyalty programs and sweepstakes
Besides that information part, there is an additional opportunity for the operator on internet revenues for providing access to their portal for commercial and advertisements or the implementation of :
- Real time information about general issues
- Location based geographical information
- Touristic sites and viewpoints
- Advertisement for points of Sale, special offers ( department stores, jewelleries, restaurants)
- Events, tickets
The basic and most important requirement for this is an absolute reliable and stable communication from train to ground during the whole travel. Even when changing trains of the same operator an automatic handover without a new log in should be made possible. To achieve both goals, comfortable and rich internet environment and reliable connections on the train are the mandatory prerequisites. Nothing is more image harming then offering something to a large audience that does not work properly.
One solution to fullfil these requirements is created by Goodmill and Limitis. The companies have joined forces on a project basis to combine best practice from both, communication and IT/Internet guarantee a seamless implementation. Goodmill systems limited is a trail blazer in mobile broadband connectivity that insures constant data flow in demanding conditions where 24/7 connectivity is critical. Limitis broadband has broad experience as an independent internet service provider. Web hosting, co-location, maintenance services for domains as well as mail and mail security is their offering for customers. Information management guarantees an optimal mix and match of competences for bringing customer needs and operator requirements together.