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July 26, 2016

Chiltern Railways to offer seamless Wi-Fi service in trains and stations

WIFI-SPARK will seamlessly integrate Wi-Fi on stations with Wi-Fi on trains provided by EE’s 4G connectivity.

By CBR Staff Writer

Customers of Chiltern Railways can now enjoy seamless Wi-Fi on stations and trains without connecting separate networks following collaboration between three service providers.

In order to offer seamless connectivity between ‘on train’ and station systems, Chiltern Railways parent company, Arriva UK Trains has formed collaboration with Wi-Fi SPARK, Icomera to offer Wi-Fi service through EE’s superfast 4G network.

Chiltern Railways claims that this is the first time that passengers can experience optimal Wi-Fi connection on station platforms and in the train.

When a passenger arrives at the railway station, all he needs to do is to authenticate once and log into the free Wi-Fi network, following which SPARK controller installed at the station will manage the rest.

 It will enable the customer’s Wi-Fi connection to roam between the station systems provided by WiFi SPARK and on the train with Wi-Fi provided by Icomera, using EE’s 4G connectivity.

The train’s onboard Wi-Fi will be handed over the network to the station’s network, whenever it arrives at a station.

In this way, as long as the train is on the station, passengers will be using the station’s Wi-Fi instead of the train’s 4G Wi-Fi. During the process, the no loss of connection will be experienced by customers.

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Chiltern Railways has assured its customers that the Wi-Fi on stations and in the rail have been designed to keep away from personal data. The communication between Wi-Fi SPARK and Icomera will be encrypted using SSL.

Apart from this, the railway company has also assured its customers that the new network is a user-friendly network where access to inappropriate websites and content will be blocked.

Wi-Fi Spark has installed the wi-fi infrastructure in stations and provided Chiltern Railways in several stations. Icomera provided Chiltern Railways with onboard WI-Fi with state-of-the art roaming and ensures a seamless connection between station and train. It uses EE’s 4G connectivity.

EE is also working with Chiltern Railways to upgrade its trackside infrastructure and deliver continuous connection along the route.

Arriva UK Trains digital transformation director Kevin Ives said: “This really is next generation Wi-Fi. Passengers want to be continuously connected to fast and reliable Wi-Fi as they move through every step of their journey.

“This collaboration with WiFi SPARK, Icomera and EE provides Chiltern Railways customers with a seamless service from the moment they arrive at the station and is part of our ongoing commitment to provide the very best digital train experience for our passengers.”

WiFi SPARK chief commercial officer Dean Moody said: “We knew that Chiltern Railways are innovators, they want to push to continually offer the best passenger experience and service that they can, which is why we worked closely with Icomera and EE and really challenged ourselves to design a solution that would deliver both a technically advanced solution and a world-class passenger experience."

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