Fluidmesh presents first successful train-to-ground trackside deployment at 300 Km/h at WCRR 2016

Fluidmesh at WCRR 2016

Milan, May 31 2016. Fluidmesh CEO and co-founder Umberto Malesci presented the results of Fluidmesh trackside wireless deployment along the high-speed railroad in Italy between Milan and Turin at the 11th edition of the World Congress on Railway Research (WCRR). The WCRR is the largest academic conference for researchers and practitioners in the rail industry. Representatives from the rail industry, national governments and academia met and shared the most innovative results and ideas on tomorrow’s railroads between May 30 and June 2 in Milan for the 11th edition of the WCRR. The next edition of the WCCR will be held in Tokyo, Japan in 2018.

Umberto Malesci, Fluidmesh CEO at WCRR 2016

Umberto Malesci, Fluidmesh CEO and co-founder at WCRR 2016

Fluidmesh Networks, together with Sirti S.p.A., authored and presented a research paper on the field tests results of Fluidmesh wireless train to ground system deployed along the high speed railroad between Milan and Turin. In late 2015, Sirti deployed Fluidmesh 5 GHz radios along the high-speed track between Milan and Turin. The wireless train-to-ground system was initially tested with a high speed test train ETR500 owned by Rete Ferroviaria Italiana (RFI, a Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane Group Company) travelling at 300 Km/h. Additional test runs with a Trenitalia Frecciarossa ETR500 passenger train are scheduled for 2016.

This 70 Km-long wireless wayside deployment leveraged existing GSM-R masts that are installed at a distance between 3 and 8 Km from each other. Fluidmesh paper shared the results of the field testing campaign, proving that Fluidmesh wireless train-to-ground technology operating on license-free bands successfully work over long distances up to 8 Km. Being able to use the existing physical infrastructure deployed for the ERTMS and GSM-R signaling systems across Europe makes trackside a cost effective solution to connect European high speed trains to the Internet without the need to rely only on public cellular networks are often affected by coverage issues along railroads and in tunnels.

The results of the tests carried out by Fluidmesh and Sirti with the support from RFI and Trenitalia in late 2015 demonstrated that Fluidmesh MPLS-based wireless trackside technology can be a viable train communication system not only for metro lines and short-range commuter trains but also for high speed railroads over long distances, to improve the performance of on-board passengers WiFi connectivity and operational applications.

High Speed Test Train equipped with Train to Ground Technology

High Speed Test Train equipped with Wireless Train to Ground Technology

The results presented in Fluidmesh’s paper at the WCRR 2016 and the wireless deployment between Milan and Turin with Fluidmesh 5 GHz train-to-ground technology demonstrate the Italian railroads’s efforts and desire to find technologies and solutions to continuously improve passengers Wi-Fi connectivity and user experience on board of high-speed trains in Italy.

In his speech, Umberto Malesci shared data on the current levels of passenger satisfaction with on-board WiFi when travelling on trains and mass transit in the US, Latin American, Europe and China. The data showed that on average more than two thirds of passengers are currently unsatisfied by the onboard WiFi connectivity provided by rail operators and mass transit agencies.

Fluidmesh presentation discussed operational uses for wireless train-to-ground communications as well, including rail-related applications of the Internet of Things. The need to constantly improve passengers’ safety and security create the needs for broadband data and video streaming from trains that increase the demand for on board and train to ground wireless networks.

The paper authored by Fluidmesh and Sirti is available in the proceedings of the 11th edition of the World Congress on Railway Research (WCRR). Anybody interested in receiving a copy of the paper presented at  WCRR 2016 can contact the authors via email at wcrr2016@fluidmesh.com.