Nomad has introduced a new acceleration technology that now offers two key benefits for passengers: dramatically reduced latency and significantly increased bandwidth.

The technology enhances the performance of on-board WiFi by optimising the use of available bandwidth – whether terrestrial networks or satellite – by enhancing the main communication protocols and improving the share and flow of information, at any time. This helps network delays (or ‘latency time’) which otherwise negatively impacts the web user experience. This is particularly apparent on shared internet services in passenger vehicles – or when facing disruptions that regularly affect an on-board Wi-Fi service.

Nomad’s solution has already delivered significant developments to Wi-Fi performances for train operating companies, increasing the speed and quality of on-board internet connections, resulting in improved customer satisfaction and sentiment amongst ridership.

Focussing on a recent PEP Charger deployment in the UK, a social media sentiment analysis reported a 12% increase in positive comments regarding the WiFi service, as well as a 17% decrease in negative comments, resulting in a net improvement of 29%.

The way that train operating companies measure the success of their WiFi is changing. With WiFi user numbers growing year-on-year, WiFi providers must cater for this increasing demand whilst ensuring that a consistent and sustainable service is being delivered to passengers.

A Nomad passenger WiFi survey in 2014, reported that the two biggest criticisms for train WiFi services were; unsuccessful or slow download times as well as an inconsistency in service.

In a like-for-like comparison, Nomad tested PEP Charger against an average network aggregator (ANA), used commonly on-board trains all over the world. Testing the results on the two metrics identified by passengers as the most frustrating problems caused by poor connectivity on-board, Nomad tested PEP Charger on the same train, route, time and day – to guarantee a like-for-like and fair comparison.

Webpage load success rate

In Nomad’s UK-wide passenger WiFi survey, 35% of participants identified unsuccessful page loading as a frustrating hindrance with on-board WiFi services. At the end of a comparative test, along the same route that matched the average network aggregator against PEP Charger, the ANA recorded 504 incomplete page loads. PEP Charger failed on just 120, recording incomplete page loads only where there were coverage gaps, throughout the entire route.

Consistency in service

PEP Charger displayed a huge increase in total journey availability against the average network aggregator. PEP Charger achieved this by utilising the available un-used bandwidth on a number of mobile networks. Unused capacity is a normal consequence of the action of Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), which backs off its throughput when packet loss is encountered.

Described as another factor that negatively affects the user

 experience for 46% of passenger WiFi users, providing a consistent and strong connection is the second most important factor for passengers that value an on-board internet service on their journeys.

On this particular test, for 35% of the journey, Charger was performing at 10Mbps – with 45% of the journey recording a throughput of 5Mbps.

Webpage loading time

Identified as another common disruption to passenger Wi-Fi consumption, 49% of UK passenger Wi-Fi consumers stated that webpage loading times were taking “too long”. In the ANA against PEP Charger test, along the same route, the ANA recorded 531 web pages downloaded in less than 30s, amounting to a total of 37%. Following the exact same methodology, the test counted 2,402 (76%) webpages for Charger, which showed a near fivefold increase over the standard aggregation technology.