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Developing a wireless on-board entertainment system for passengers in Greece

4 February 2016  •  Author(s): Nikolaos Athanasopoulos and Panagiotis Georgas, TRAINOSE

TRAINOSE S.A, the Greek railway operator, is currently developing and testing an innovative on-board wireless system that will provide its intercity passengers with entertainment facilities including movies, music, e-books and e-magazines, as well as Wi-Fi internet access. For European Railway Review, Strategic Planning Senior Adviser at TRAINOSE, Nikolaos Athanasopoulos and colleague Panagiotis Georgas explain that the system has been designed within a ‘Bring Your Own Device’ (BYOD) concept…

Developing a wireless on-board entertainment system for passengers in Greece

With the BYOD concept, there is no need for a complex and expensive on-board screens installation programme, as passengers will be able to experience the system via their own mobile devices – laptops, tablets and smartphones – no matter what operating system their device runs on; i.e. iOS, Windows, Android.

Validation of the pilot results will soon introduce a fully operational passenger experience, named TRAINOSE Passenger InfoTrainment Service.

System architecture

The InfoTrainment System has been installed on an A Class passenger wagon of an intercity train. The system’s general architecture is shown in Figure 1 on page 50.

The system is divided into two subsystems that operate independently through a common communication channel and implement two independent wireless local networks:

Entertainment Network

This provides the entertainment part of the InfoTrainment system. Users connect to the Wireless Entertainment Network via their own device by activating the Wi-Fi functionality, and after successful and authenticated connection, they have access to movies, music, e-books and e-magazines. Its main part is a server where all digital content has been stored. The server also includes the appropriate software for media streaming and for data exchanges, enabling users to authenticate and to navigate the content.

Internet Network

This provides the information part of the InfoTrainment system, i.e. internet connectivity. Users connect to the wagon’s Wireless Internet Network via their own device by activating the Wi-Fi functionality. After successful and authenticated connection, they automatically connect to the internet, enabling them to visit their favourite web pages, or doing any action that demands internet connectivity. The main component of the Internet Network is the 3G Modem-Router (ICOMERAX6) and all associated modules including external antennas for data transmission/reception. A long period of field tests concluded the number of SIM cards needed from telecommunication providers in order to achieve sufficient load balancing and satisfying throughput improving internet usage…

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