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How valuable to passengers is a reliable on-board Wi-Fi connection?
In our connected world, rail passengers expect to be connected everywhere, and business and entertainment are the main drivers for connectivity. Passengers expect a reliable on-board Wi-Fi connection because this is what they can get everywhere else. We can’t expect passengers to understand that on-board Wi-Fi is challenging and therefore accept a poor connection.
Furthermore, a reliable on-board Wi-Fi connection is a key enabler to meet expectations. It can convert travel time into working time, enable new on-board services to enhance service offering to passengers and enhance the travel experience by creating ancillary revenues for operators.
But, make no mistake; the minute on-board Wi-Fi is offered, it must work properly.
What is unique about your technology and how do passengers ultimately benefit?
Trains, trams and metros are metal-confined tubes carrying a high concentration of passengers, resulting in challenging environments for reliable Wi-Fi services. Inside these structures, wireless signals bounce multiple times creating high levels of interference, distorting passengers’ communications and reducing the overall throughput. Add to this the high concentration of eager passengers demanding top performing Wi-Fi, not every passenger receives equally good service, resulting in passenger complaints.
Galgus has created Cognitive HotspotTM Technology (CHT), a software that converts on-board Wi-Fi Access Points (APs) into intelligent ones. With CHT, Wi-Fi APs work as a team to enhance passenger experience in real-time. They sense the environment, adapt to it, share information between APs and collaborate to optimise performance in real-time using machine learning techniques.
We can improve passenger Wi-Fi performance by up to five times just by adding software to the train; an inexpensive way to ensure passengers are happy with the service.
What are the benefits to rail industry OEMs and system integrators in using CHT software?
Our software is an enhancement to the system/product mix currently used, complementing and improving the existing solutions and products.
For railway OEMs, partnering with Galgus ensures they meet ever-increasing technical and service requirements enabling them to win more business and increase the perceived value of their products. In addition, our software allows OEMs to access new features and create additional revenues such as: Cloud Management to easily manage, configure and update their products; Location Positioning and Tracking (LPT) to locate passenger devices; and Wireless Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (WIDS/WIPS) to secure passenger data and prevent rogue AP attacks onboard trains, amongst others.
For system integrators, partnering with Galgus ensures they offer reliable on-board Wi-Fi. They will be able to guarantee a minimum performance, meet SLAs with railway operators and reduce passenger complaints. Our additional features will allow them to offer new services to operators, resulting in enhanced business offering. Our software can also reduce by half the amount of hardware required to guarantee a minimum on-board performance level and reduce the cost of new network deployments.
Galgus CHT can be retrofitted onto current trains to extend the lifetime of existing components and be implemented in new installations to create more value for passengers and operators in a very inexpensive way.
What do you hope Galgus will achieve in the rail industry over the next 10 years?
We are already a leading provider of on-board performance optimisation software for the aviation industry, with over 900 aircraft in flight using our software. Our goal now is to become a key partner for OEMs and system integrators in the railway sector and to ensure the benefits of our software reaches industry-wide deployment.
Galgus is the key partner in delivering new software features to on-board Wi-Fi networks and in meeting the demands of ever-growing passenger numbers.
Jose Gonzalez is Galgus’ co-Founder and CEO. A Telecommunications Engineer from the University of Seville, Jose has worked in Germany and Ireland for eight years in in-flight communication systems for companies such as Airbus and Lufthansa. Returning to Spain in 2013, he founded Galgus with his friend and telecommunications engineer, Jose Antonio Delgado.
This article first appeared on www.globalrailwayreview.com
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