On-board multimedia rail systems specialist 21NET announced the launch of its new Telematics 2.0 solution at the BWCS Train Communication Conference in London yesterday (12 June 2013).
‘Today's railway operators are looking for ways to make their passengers' journeys more enjoyable and more productive,’ explained Henry Hyde-Thomson, chairman and CEO of 21Net. ‘With our new Telematics 2.0 architecture, 21Net is raising the standard once again, from single digit to double digit megabits per second, to meet the rapidly increasing demand for bandwidth on board.’
21Net’s Telematics 2.0 solution for trains is a complete solution of technology and operational services for passenger entertainment and connectivity, combining airplane in-flight entertainment technology with continuously available high bandwidth for optimal productive passenger Internet and train operator connectivity.
What is different about the Telematics 2.0 architecture is that it aggregates the best of satellite, cellular and trackside technologies to seamlessly deliver double digit broadband. By combining different backhauls, 21Net’s Telematics 2.0 is designed to answer the challenge of increasing demands for bandwidth:
- Up to 40Mbps non contended continuous availability with advanced satellite technologies (ACM, Ka-band)
- Up to 30Mbps with multi-operator, multi-SIM bonding, MIMO antennas for 3G/LTE cellular connectivity
- Guaranteed continuous 40 - 100 mbps with high speed trackside wireless antennas.
Telematics 2.0 comprises four tightly integrated components:
- Train to shore communication equipment (antennas, controllers),
- Train area network (Gigabit backbone, Ethernet wiring, access points),
- Communication and multimedia servers capable of supporting 100s of passengers video on demand and Internet sessions
- Multi-media entertainment systems (cinema screens, at seat audio, personal touchscreens).
- Datacentre servers, routers, traffic shapers, management systems
- Network operation centre
- Trackside antennas
- Partners’ telecommunication network capacity – satellite and cellular.
A distributed software suite including:
- Communication module with location aware multi-channel, multi-operator aggregation to maximise availability and bandwidth
- Cinema module with synchronised multi-screen playback and multi-language audio tracks with on train or remote control
- IPTV module for uninterrupted on train live TV
- Customisable portal adapted for all types of devices – laptops, tablets, smart phones, personal touchscreens – giving access to video on demand, TV, daily newspapers, weather reports, travel information as well as the Internet
- Content management module that synchronises all types of content to all trains of a fleet – videos, music, newspapers, eBooks, news, weather, travel information, advertising, user data etc.
- System management module for tracking, analysis, reporting and administration.
Operation and maintenance services:
- Based on multi-year service level commitments to comply with train operators expectations of high availability and reliability
21Net, headquartered in Belgium, uses satellite and cellular technology to develop robust, affordable railway-grade systems that provide broadband communications for passengers and train operators. With the support of The European Space Agency, 21Net established in 2004 the world’s first bi-directional satellite communications system capable of delivering high-speed Internet to high-speed trains.
See also: Fluidmesh Networks partners with 21Net to deliver fast broadband to trains