According to a recent report by Transport Focus, passengers listed value for money, punctuality, Wi-Fi connectivity and safety, as their main priorities. These factors are driving a rise in demand for smart transport networks around the world, creating 4G data opportunities the channel is well-placed to provide.
Smart transport networks offer significant benefits to passengers, operators and local authorities, enabling urban services to become more efficient, effective and safer. Cities from London to Singapore are already building them. Madrid is leading the way, with a central control room that receives and integrates data from 40 urban control rooms. They cover over 100 bus routes, 300 railway lines and 200,000 cameras, delivering end-to-end surveillance and security solutions.
There are many experienced providers offering end-to-end solutions to the transport industry, involving 4G routers and cameras. Trams, buses and trains are tracked, and arrival times accurately estimated and advertised, factoring in potential delays. These devices need 4G data SIMs, often with a fixed IP. On average there are seven SIMs per bus, for logging into the cameras to download relevant footage, Wi-Fi, secure card payments, passenger trackers, applications tracking hours worked, petrol levels and miles travelled.
Challenges faced by solutions providers
Service providers face a few challenges with 4G. Some networks are stronger than others in specific locations requiring relationships with multiple network providers. Secondly, they have no way of tracking data usage and if devices use more than their allocated monthly allowance, they get high data overage charges. Thirdly, they need a secure channel for transmitting financial data.