Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Enabling broadband multimedia access on trains

Provision of a broadband communications service to users on board a train is challenging owing to a number of different factors. There is a fundamental trade-off in the capability of a communications standard between coverage and supported data rates, as it is uneconomic and invariably difficult to make high data rate services available anywhere within a national geographic area. The long-range mobility of trains inhibits provision of an adequate service from high capacity localised coverage networks, and wide area networks are unable to support high data rate access at high speeds.

It has been shown that simultaneous use of wide area GSM coverage with more localised higher data rate access to the UMTS or WLAN standards makes the provision of a wide range of broadband communications services to trains feasible. Results have highlighted the limitations of a conventional single standard terminal for a generic information download process, common to the majority of applications. The GSM family of standards are unable to effectively support large downloads due to its low data rate, and UMTS or WLAN are inadequate for small downloads as a consequence of its limited coverage capability.

Reported by

University of York
Heslington -
YO1 5DD York
United Kingdom
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