British train operating company London North Eastern Railway announced this month a United Kingdoms first—using Vancouver technology.
LNER announced its edgecasting proof-of-concept trial that enables people to stream thousands of shows from ITV Hub in ultra high-definition without eating into personal data or the train’s Wi-Fi bandwidth.
69% of passengers say that good-quality Wi-Fi is an important consideration for them when choosing how to travel, according to data from LNER, rising to 75% and 79% of solo and business travellers, respectively. When faced with glitchy Wi-Fi, 76% opt to use their own 4G or personal hotspot, while many stop using their device altogether.
“Customers are at the centre of our innovation journey, and we are constantly looking for ways to enhance the digital experience LNER delivers,” Danny Gonzalez, Chief Digital and Innovation Officer at LNER, stated.
The trial service is available on three electric Azuma trains running between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh.
“We know how frustrating it can be to have poor connectivity and whilst there are continued efforts to improve network services across the UK, this transformational trial directly addresses the issue,” said Gonzalez.
LNER partnered with technology innovator Netskrt Systems, based out of Vancouver, to trial edgecasting on select services.
“Edgecasting will dramatically improve onboard entertainment for our customers—critically, without eating into the Wi-Fi bandwidth of our business customers,” Gonzalez noted.
Netskrt’s edge Content Delivery Network combines cloud-based machine learning with network-aware edge caching, storing on-demand content on-board LNER’s Azuma trains, meaning that customers will have the same high-quality viewing experience they would enjoy at home, even when going through tunnels or hard-to-reach network areas.
“We hope this first-of-its-kind trial lays the foundations for the technology to be adopted across all UK rail operators in the future to enhance customers’ experiences,” said Gonzalez.
Netskrt was founded in 2017 by Lars Cavi and Siegfried Luft.
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