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Summary on How to Provide Broadband Internet on Board Trains

General Remarks

There are several technological solutions that can be used to provide a broadband Internet access on board trains. The list of solutions presented in this chapter is not exhaustive, due to the constant evolution of the subject. Many new solutions are emerging regularly. Furthermore, each solution has its own advantages and drawbacks that will be summarized in this section. It appears that whatever the solution used, similar conclusions can be highlighted:

  • • Several Railway Companies establish a quota system on the used bandwidth in order to limit the required throughputs. For instance, Amtrak has implemented a rate limiting on all East coast and Midwest services in March 2014: passengers are allowed to consume up to 250 MB of date. Once exceeded, their data transfer rate is limited to 200 kbps to reduce data consumption [59]. Such a quota system is also used in Sweden and in the Netherlands, by limiting the speed per use to 150 kbps for the latter;
  • • A majority of the solutions were first rolled out in the 2000s. For the most part, they were, or are currently, upgraded, especially with the possible use of the Ka band for satellite solutions, and the deployment of the 4G cellular technology in the different countries for the cellular solutions.
 
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