Nigel Chadwick, CEO of machine to machine specialist mobile network, Stream Communications, believes that faster and more reliable mobile networks offer opportunities to railway operators. "4G enables train operators to provide a reliable business link for passengers to continue working aboard. To monetise this, rail operators need to provide a more effective service than consumer mobile networks. Machine to machine specialists can help deliver an 'always on' service by smartly manipulating the network to manage coverage outages," commented Chadwick. "This means connectivity for the duration of a journey, providing rail operators with the ability to monetise specific business-only carriages with always on connectivity."
The improvement provided by 4G networks is noticeable. It is possible to stream video from London Waterloo to Fleet in north Hampshire, with built in buffering to smooth the ride over service interruptions. This delivers revenue opportunities for rail companies wishing to provide live in-carriage entertainment.