Despite being embroiled in a war of survival with its neighbour, Ukraine has managed to find the time and money to kit out its trains with on-board Internet access. National train operator Ukrainian Railways (UZ) says it has signed local telecom supplier Winncom to install connectivity equipment on its fleet of Intercity trains. According to press reports, the deal will cost some 78.9 million Hryvnia (US$2.14 million).
While Winncom will handle the supply, installation, and commissioning of the on-train WiFi system, the actual connectivity will be provided by satellite operator Starlink. BWCS previously reported that UZ has been trialing Starlink’s services since April. The kit is expected to be fully installed on all 16 trains by April next year.
Ukrainian Railways’ decision to go with Starlink, follows announcements from new US train operator Brightline and Lithuanian Railways that they too plan to use or trial its satellite-delivered internet connectivity.
Starlink says it can deliver high-speed, low-latency Internet connections to users all over the world. This is made possible via its constellation of over 4,000 satellites operating in a low orbit of only 550km above the Earth, compared to 35,786km for geostationary satellites. It also says it can provide a seamless connection even in the most rural areas and all along most train tracks.
Recently CGI, started work with the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, the UK Space Agency, the European Space Agency (ESA) and Icomera to demonstrate a hybrid satellite and terrestrial communications network for use on trains in remote parts of Britain’s rail network.
The UK and Lithuanian satellite projects will be one of many train-to-shore connectivity services discussed at this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference – Traincomms 2023 (www.Traincomms.com )
This year’s Traincomms 2023 Conference will take place on the 14th and 15th of November at the Royal Horseguards Hotel in central London www.Traincomms.com.
A very limited number of early booking discount tickets are still available.
The 2023 Conference is sponsored by Huber+Suhner, Westermo, Boldyn Networks, Nomad Digital, GlobalReach Technology, Icomera, Xentrans, Antonics and Polomarconi.
The Full Programme for the 2023 Conference is available NOW via the website.