Last Updated on Wednesday, 30 November 2011 10:46
The use of on-board passenger internet on trains is steadily increasing and today passenger surveys show that it is more important that the on-board wireless internet is functioning than that the train is on time!
Today the most common solution to provide speech and 2G/3G connectivity on board trains is with the help of simple 2G/3G amplify-and-forward repeater systems. However, increasingly train operators in Europe are more and more often using a system’s solution (provided by icomera) that enables simultaneously connectivity with multiple radio carriers at different frequencies, standards and by different operators. The system then aggregates all of the received capacity on an IP level into one “big pipe” which is then through a WiFi system distributed in the train. Using standard HSPA technology, this combination of carriers results today in an aggregated channel of up to about 50Mbps.
50Mbps throughput to 250 passengers inside an X-2000 may be a good enough solution today but probably not when a service like e.g. individual HDTV is being required. Assuming that passengers in a 5-10 years time frame will require access to at least 4Mbps services from the outside world we may estimate that each high speed train, travelling at 2-300km/h will need to be connected with at least 1Gbps.
In this project we study the plausibility of providing up to 1Gbps connectivity to trains using MIMO and Coordinated Multi-Point (CoMP) transmission in LTE-A. The study is conducted in collaboration with Ascom, Delta Node and Icomera, using real measurements on board an X-2000 high speed train.