Netskrt Systems and BAI Communications (BAI) team up to offer streaming to railway operators in the UK, Europe and North America. Also, TransmetriQ enables detailed railcar lease, health and location insights; and Cummins Inc. and Leclanché S.A (Leclanché) collaborate on lower-emissions solutions for use in rail and marine applications.
Netskrt Systems/BAI Communications
Enterprise Content Delivery Network (eCDN) provider Netskrt Systems and BAI, soon to be rebranded as Boldyn Networks, announced March 28 that they will work together to enhance rail passengers’ onboard Wi-Fi experience, including offering them on demand and live video streaming services.
BAI will integrate Netskrt’s eCDN for Rail solution, which “deploys content delivery intelligence in the cloud and video caches on each train,” with their connected transport solution to give rail operators a “seamless, easy-to-deploy and manage connectivity solution.”
According to Netskrt, rail operators struggle to meet customer Wi-Fi expectations onboard trains that are traveling through the countryside at high speed and lose cellular coverage in remote areas and tunnels. IPSOS Passenger research suggests 41% of all adults (16-75) and 64% of young people (16-35) would be more likely to consider taking the train over other modes of transport (e.g., car, plane, etc.), if train companies provided fast, reliable on-board Wi-Fi.
Computer Weekly reports that for business travelers, this figure rises to 79%. Over the last few years, it has become even more difficult, Netskrt says, as homebound consumers turned to streaming services for entertainment. Now as they return to travel, consumers not only expect high quality Wi-Fi, but they also want to watch their favorite streaming channels wherever they go. Streaming video places higher demand on the limited internet bandwidth, and many operators have resorted to either severely rate limiting or even not allowing access to streaming services over their Wi-Fi to protect connectivity for other applications, such as email and web browsing.
BAI and Netskrt offer railway operators and their passengers an affordable and easy-to-deploy solution that lets them “open-up access to onboard video streaming, reduces the load on the internet bandwidth, and improves overall Wi-Fi performance.” The Netskrt eCDN system, according to the company, proactively stores on-demand content in the onboard software cache. When customers select popular content, it’s already onboard and instantly streams to their individual devices, allowing customers to continue watching programs when they are going through tunnels or hard-to-reach network areas. Content is uploaded, in the station, or on the move, so the catalogue is updated regularly, and passengers get access to the latest titles. And no matter how many passengers choose to watch that content, the company adds, each title is only streamed to the onboard cache once, significantly reducing use of limited internet access bandwidth.
“At BAI, we are continuously advancing our connected transport solution with the latest industry innovations to provide secure, high speed cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity onboard trains, above and below ground, meeting customers’ evolving expectations for work and entertainment content access,” said BAI Communications Group CTO Brendan O’Reilly. “Together we offer rail operators an easy path to enhancing their customer’s journey with on demand and live streaming video services.”
“We are excited to be working with BAI to enhance rail passengers’ onboard digital experience,” said NetSkrt CEO and Co-Founder Siegfried Luft. “By adding our edge caching solution to BAI’s leading connected train solution, railway operators can ensure their WiFi supports the increasingly demanding customer desire to watch video streaming as they travel.”
The new Lease Management module, TransmetriQ says, “expands visibility from asset location, health and status into lease-related analysis and reporting, and provides railcar owners and lessees with a central location for storing detailed lease information, enabling users to generate insight from varied data sources, improving planning, and ensuring accurate billing.”
The TransmetriQ Lease Management module provides improved management capabilities for lessees and lessors including:
• Tracking lease renewal dates and terms.
• Reconciling billing to lease terms.
• Managing asset deployment.
• Identifying repair cost responsibility.
• Analyzing lease term compliance (e.g., mileage).
This new functionality, the company says, allows users to analyze private lease data—in addition to the location and health data they are accustomed to seeing from Railinc and TransmetriQ—providing a new, more-comprehensive picture of their fleet and operations.
Shippers that lease or own their rail equipment need information that enables the safe and efficient use of their fleets, TransmetriQ said, adding that Asset Manager is designed to provide insights that help shippers gather and act on that vital fleet information, helping them improve cost control, car availability, and complex data management.
“The new module addresses a lack of visibility to lease information and siloed data, which can frustrate leasing managers,” said TransmetriQ Product Manager, Asset Manager Gregg Phillips. “Lease Management enables tracking of key lease details and incorporates characteristics of individual users’ leases into the metrics they track for asset performance, improving fleet insights.”
Further information about TransmetriQ’s AMS is available here.
Cummins and Swiss-based Leclanché announced March 28 the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that “represents a significant step forward in providing customers with a broader portfolio of integrated power solutions.”
The MOU, Cummins says, allows Cummins and Leclanché to offer customers a wide range of hybrid, battery-only and fuel cell package solutions in rail and marine applications utilizing a variety of power sources, such as engines, hydrogen fuel cells, battery packs and racks, as well as other components.
The MOU, Cummins adds, “establishes another important relationship” as Cummins works to achieve its Destination Zero strategy—the company’s plan to reach net zero emissions across its products by 2050. Recently, the company launched Accelera by Cummins, rebranding its New Power segment, to bring zero emissions solutions to markets even faster.
Cummins and Leclanché will work together to optimize the installation, training, commissioning, warranty and aftersales support of these power source packages.
“Cummins is focused on our Destination Zero strategy—to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and combining efforts with Leclanché enables us to provide a broader range of solutions to reach our goals, and help our customers accelerate their decarbonization journeys,” said Gbile Adewunmi, Executive Director of Industrial Markets in Power Systems segment at Cummins. He added, “Leclanché’s portfolio of products tailored for Industrial markets aligns well with the Cummins core, bridge and zero carbon technology offerings.”
“The agreement offers a unique opportunity for both companies to collaborate, combining our capabilities to offer bespoke solutions to help decarbonize both the global transport and energy sectors,” said Phil Broad, co-CEO of Leclanché E-Mobility.
Leclanché’s co-CEO Pierre Blanc commented: “Both companies possess a wealth of expertise in their respective fields and markets, and this, coupled with Cummins’ well established global presence, will offer customers quality solutions to suit their needs in transitioning towards green energy and transportation.”