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Access to broadband services on trains

Carolina Fortuna, Andrej Hrovat, Mihael Mohorčič, Gorazd Kandus

Institut Jožef Stefan
Jamova 39, 1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija

Abstract

Provision of high speed Internet access on moving trains is a challenging task, recently addressed by several research projects and also network operators, resulting in different proprietary solutions involving different telecommunication technologies. Some solutions are being tested in pilot networks while there are already some in commercial operation.

The most challenging aspect is the provision of (seemingly) uninterrupted service in all different sections of the railway line, including those with particularly unfavourable radio propagation environment such as valleys, dells and tunnels. As a consequence, the sole use of the 2G/3G access technologies such as GPRS, EDGE, UMTS/WCDMA or HSPA for the access to the broadband services on trains is inadequate both economically as well as technically in most countries. Thus, some rail operators are already offering high speed internet access based on hybrid solutions which are comprised of various wireless access technologies such as uni- or bi-directional satellite links, 2G/3G technologies, WiMAX and WiFi.

In this paper we provide a brief overview of different technical solutions for provision of broadband access on trains, along with the most important providers, trials and commercial implementations, and discuss the feasibility of implementation of broadband service delivery on trains in Slovenia.

Keywords

broadband access on trains, onboard service delivery

pdf | ppt

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