Nomad Digital, in collaboration with GoMedia - the leading provider of on-board media and infotainment services, recently hosted three key rail journalists from London to Paris on Eurostar’s e320 trainset, to sample the new on-board entertainment platform. Jean-Philippe Tissot, EMEAI General Manager, talks about the experience.
Our recent press trip, in many ways, echoed and reinforced the collaborative partnership approach of both Nomad and GoMedia in how we have come together to deliver WiFi and on-board entertainment.
The Eurostar experience is one I’ve encountered numerous times before – as a Parisian that travels to Nomad’s UK HQ in Newcastle and its office in London regularly. But the opportunity to share the systems with key influencers, directly alongside GoMedia’s CEO, Matt Seaman, was really rewarding.
‘Partnership’ and ‘collaboration’ can sometimes be overused terms, but in this case I feel they are justified. When true collaborative innovation is seen in practice – as in the case of the bespoke package of WiFi and media content Eurostar passengers enjoy – it creates something greater than the sum of its parts.
Eurostar had a strong vision of what they wanted their passengers to experience: something ground-breaking in terms of choice and flexibility for short haul travel, offering a rich source of infotainment enabled through a secure connectivity platform.
Each set of strengths and skills possessed by Nomad and GoMedia combined to enhance the experience – from the visual identity of the portal, the variety of media content and the scalability offered by our IP infrastructure.
It is Nomad’s networked backbone which utilises WiFi infrastructure to integrate hardware required to host the infotainment and media portal. GoMedia’s team offers experience in media and advertising and can identify a rich vein of the very latest Digital Rights Management-protected content through its well-established network of partners.
All of this is then accessed by a clever app, which provides a window into a whole host of services, delivered in different languages, tailored towards families, children and business people – an eclectic mix of customers who use the daily service. The Eurostar entertainment amounts to more than 200 hours of content, ranging from kids’ channels to news and magazines and recent box-set specials.
Eurostar’s vision also included a moving map that can provide additional content of interest in different destinations. This requires collaboration between Nomad, Go Media, Snowdrop Solutions and Google, allowing the map to be enriched, providing a unique integration of the map and content-specific information - yet another added value feature for passengers.
The combination of the two systems working in a complementary and integrated fashion is a unique proposition. The WiFi service is robust but there are still challenges ahead and occasions on the two and a quarter hour journey when the WiFi quality can be detrimentally affected due to the external mobile signal on the route. The great thing is that the opportunity to experience entertainment and news is freely available in these circumstances - the on-board system providing the infrastructure to host content independent of any external offshore WiFi provision. GoMedia’s content is uploaded on an on-board server and refreshed with new content at key points between its journeys.
Matt Seaman, GoMedia CEO, added: “The combination of Nomad’s and our expertise really provides Eurostar with added value enhancements which it can tailor to its audience improving their overall journey experience. The journey time passes pretty quickly at 300km an hour but the perceived time is even shorter. People can effortlessly hop between the two provisions – WiFi or on-board entertainment - keeping themselves constantly entertained and making the international journey enjoyable and appear relatively short.”