Categories: BroadbandNetworks

Cisco & ScotRail To Trial 300Mbps Train Wi-Fi Between Glasgow & Edinburgh

Cisco and ScotRail are to trial 300Mbps Wi-Fi services on trains between Edinburgh and Glasgow as part of a wider goal of improving connectivity on Britain’s railways.

Project SWIFT, developed with CGI, Network Rail Telecoms and Wittos, uses existing trackside fibre and masts to relay the signal, while additional infrastructure will be installed along the route.

A number of train operators, including ScotRail, already offer on-board Wi-Fi, but Cisco claims a third of all Internet requests during journeys fail. It also believes cellular coverage has failed to improve matter because of patchy coverage and tunnels on routes.

Train Wi-Fi

“Project SWIFT embodies the art of the possible. If the UK is to truly benefit from what digital technologies have to offer, then connectivity has to be a given – even when travelling at 140mph.” said Scot Gardner, Cisco’s UK CEO.

“If only a fraction of the time that we spend travelling is made more productive, the potential for commuters, the train companies and the UK as a whole is immense.”

The system has already been tested on a closed track but will now be piloted in the real world until March 2018.

Besides improving productivity, Cisco also says better connectivity can help train operators themselves. Real time CCTV will be a reality, while it would also be possible to determine which carriages are crowded and where there are seats.

Will You Get An iPhone X?

  • No, never (46%)
  • No, but maybe in the future (27%)
  • Yes! Shut up and take my money now! (20%)
  • Yes, when my contract is up (8%)

Loading ...

In a capacity that will see ScotRail prove this concept on their network for the wider benefit of the rail industry, said: “We are delighted to be a part of this project,” said Rob Shorthouse, ScotRail Alliance Communications Director.

“Our customers consistently tell us that one of the things that they expect on their journey is fast, reliable Wi-Fi. This pilot scheme, which we are undertaking on behalf of the entire rail industry, will allow us to fully understand how we take our current on-train WiFi to the next level. We are really excited to be involved.”

Last year, the government announced plans to make free Wi-Fi available to the majority of rail passengers in England and Wales by 2017. It has allocated £50 million in funding for the rollout and will make it a condition of any future franchise bid.

Think you know your transport tech? Find out with our quiz!

Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

Recent Posts

Microsoft Executive Indicates Departmental Hiring Slowdown

Amid concern at the state of the global economy, a senior Microsoft executive tells staff…

1 day ago

Shareholders Sue Twitter, Elon Musk For Stock ‘Manipulation’

Disgruntled shareholders are now suing both Twitter and Elon Musk, over volatile share price swings…

1 day ago

Google Faces Second UK Probe Over Ad Practices

UK's competition watchdog launches second investigation of Google's ad tech practices, and whether it may…

1 day ago

Elon Musk Raises His Contribution To Twitter Acquisition

But one of Elon Musk's biggest backers on the Twitter board has tendered his resignation…

2 days ago

Broadcom Confirms VMware Acquisition For $61 Billion

Entry into cloud infrastructure software for US chip firm Broadcom after it confirms reports it…

2 days ago