Current approaches to the provision of mobile connectivity to travellers on public and private transport risk failing to meet demand or justify themselves financially, according to independent wireless technology advisory firm Real Wireless.
Instead, a service that meets demand will only be possible through the rollout of additional custom mobile infrastructure, in order to complement the existing provision of public wireless networks.
The expense involved in this approach means that a comprehensive business case is vital before any rollout. In many cases, a positive return on investment will only be possible if transport operators take a holistic approach to planning wireless service rollouts, combining revenue from passengers with operational efficiency savings in other areas of their business.
To explore the additional services and business models that can be enabled by wireless, Real Wireless has published a new guide: The business opportunities for wireless in transport.
Bringing together the experience and insight of its experts from across the wireless industry, both working in and outside of the transport sector, it provides an overview of the potential services that must be taken into account by transport companies looking at rolling out wireless services.
Transportation has seen a series of high profile announcements in 2014 regarding the integration of wireless services. The highest profile of these have centred on the introduction of in-vehicle data connectivity for passengers on railways and airlines, delivering benefits for both customer experience and productivity and creating new revenue streams for operators.
However ‘wireless services’ extend far beyond data connectivity, covering other technologies such as Wi-Fi, cellular reception, machine-to-machine communications and ‘big data’ analytics.
Similarly, it can also bring benefits to the companies operating the transport services, delivering operational efficiencies and new opportunities to streamline the business.
“For passengers, the benefits of having access to data services on the move are obvious,” said Mark Keenan, commercial director at Real Wireless. “But our analysis shows that operators must carefully consider all their options before proceeding with a rollout.
“Transport operators should build a comprehensive business case for the introduction of wireless, taking in to account both direct and indirect cost savings and revenue streams and fully factoring in recent and expected advances in technology.
“A well considered approach can prove highly lucrative for operators and regulators, as well as streamlining their everyday operations and enhancing their customers’ experience,” said Keenan.
In the report, Real Wireless identifies the added benefits wireless can offer the following sectors:
• Railways - including enhanced customer services, better insights in to customer behaviour and reduced carriage weight
• Aerospace - including reduced turnaround time, more effective airport security and crisis management and revenue from on demand content
• Roads - including accident prevention, shorter accident response times, and enhanced traffic flow systems to reduce congestion
• Maritime - including onboard cellular networks, better tracking of cargo and new revenue streams for port operators.
The Real Wireless guide to the business opportunity wireless presents the transport sector, The business opportunities for wireless in transport, is available to download free of charge here.