Railways’ Migration from Traditional GSM-R to 4G LTE to Greatly Boost Onboard Connectivity for Passengers


SANTA CLARA, Calif., March 11, 2019 — Railroads in Europe and North America are in a state of transition, with cities’ demand for economic and fuel-efficient modes of travel causing a surge in traffic volumes. The total passenger rail connectivity market is expected to be worth $9.77 billion by 2025, led by Western Europe and followed by North America and Eastern Europe. Much of this growth is expected to be driven by collaborations among railway industry participants, digital technology providers, and connectivity solution providers to offer connectivity and onboard entertainment to improve the overall passenger experience.

“Railways’ shift to advanced 4G Long-term Evolution (LTE) technology from the traditional Global System for Mobile Communications – Railway (GSM-R) through partnerships with mobile service providers will improve mobile connectivity all along the railway line,” said Guruguhan Nataraj, Senior Research Analyst, Mobility. “Investments in erecting mobile network towers similar to wayside communications-based train control (CBTC) on the rail routes and equipping trains with mobile network boosters will enable consistent connectivity for passengers and increase passenger rail traffic.”

Frost & Sullivan’s recent analysis, Passenger Rail Connectivity Market in Europe and North America, Forecast to 2025, analyzes the existing participants and startups in the connectivity and digital solutions provider industries. It presents a comparative analysis of the passenger rail connectivity providers, competitive benchmarking of key industry participants, market drivers, restraints, challenges, and strategic recommendations.

For further information on this analysis, please visit: http://frost.ly/39v 

“Factors such as geography and topography play a vital role in assuring seamless quality of service on railroads. Tunnels, mountainous regions, and remote areas along the track length make it even more difficult to set up connectivity solutions,” noted Nataraj. “Furthermore, the high speed of trains creates a type of Doppler effect when a passenger onboard tries to make use of the connectivity solutions. To eliminate this issue, multiple hardware units have to be set up at regular intervals to ensure overlapping of signal coverage.”

Other factors that can increase revenue opportunities for rolling stock manufacturers, railway operators, as well as digital technology and network connectivity providers include:

  • Investments in communication infrastructure.
  • Offering door-to-door connectivity solutions through digitalization of train reservations combined with first- and last-mile connections using common mobile application platforms.
  • Partnerships among automotive companies, digital technology providers, and mobile networking companies.
  • Shifting toward automated operations.

Passenger Rail Connectivity Market in Europe and North America, Forecast to 2025 is part of Frost & Sullivan’s global Commercial Vehicle/Transport/Logistics/Rail Growth Partnership Service program.

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Passenger Rail Connectivity Market in Europe and North America, Forecast to 2025

Kristi Cekani  

Corporate Communications – Frost & Sullivan, Europe

P: +39 (0)2 4851 6133

E: kristi.cekani@frost.com 

SOURCE Frost & Sullivan

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