Our technological innovation was crucial to success. Through our range-topping, next-generation 3500P platform, introduced across ÖBB’s international Railjet fleet, we provided a fully upgraded connectivity service and integrated media server. All 51 ÖBB Railjet trains were equipped with faster router technology, upgraded access points and switches and new-generation modems, offering a high-capacity on-board application hosting environment.
Travelling through tunnels, valleys and less populated areas sometimes means the mobile signal is weak, making it challenging to establish a consistent internet connection. To overcome this and provide customers with the best possible performance, our system aggregates the mobile communication signals of several mobile providers to present a single network to the applications and users on the train. In order to allow for a continuity of the live streams, innovative buffering software is installed on the ÖBB Railjet trains and network operating centre. These inject a short lag in the transmission and make it possible to compensate for route sections with bad reception, for instance tunnels – thus ensuring continuity of service. It means that the users themselves don’t see an irritating ‘buffering’ indication; all management is performed in the background.
In addition, the TV distribution system uses ‘one stream to the train, multi access’ technology to give presentation on TV screens or on passengers’ own devices, while using the minimum of bandwidth for the transmission.
Working together with ÖBB we implemented a bespoke integrated passenger portal, which facilitates the delivery of a full media and infotainment platform with rich content. The high bandwidth delivered ensures that other travellers less keen on using the live TV experience can also get an excellent internet or on-board portal service. Passengers have the flexibility to move across the different services seamlessly. Flexibility is key to customer satisfaction and there is something for everyone in this solution.
The portal also provides a Passenger Information System which gives passengers fully synchronised and integrated real-time journey and service information direct to their personal device. And excellent train connectivity unlocks other potential applications such as the operator’s ability to invest in cost savings through Remote Online Condition Monitoring and Driving Advisory System. These applications provide information which can significantly reduce maintenance and operating costs and improve reliability.
Live TV then is actually just one part of a holistic end-to-end solution, albeit an extremely advanced and pioneering one. With a networked train there are a variety of capabilities and applications to choose from – whether entertainment, passenger information services or fleet maintenance. But the end driver is the same – the opportunity to really enhance passenger satisfaction. ÖBB really believed in that and believed in our ability to help them deliver it.