Picture the scene – a packed train or coach and 95% of passengers either have a mobile device to play games, listen to music, watch TV or films, surf the internet or check email. Chances are we’ve all experienced a similar scene when travelling on the UKs transport network.
However, given the quality of network performance on a moving vehicle, frequent interruptions to network connection are common. Whilst some passengers may have downloaded content beforehand, the majority may struggle to get any reasonable service. We all battle to get connection on the move and often we’re presented with the ‘spinning wheel of doom’ whilst our device connects.
In 2017, this should no longer be the norm. It is time for transport providers to rethink on-board digital service delivery to its passengers. Yes, many transport providers have on-board Wi-Fi access – but as passengers we want the same bandwidth speed we get at home or in the office. The current delivery of on-board Wi-Fi doesn’t match these expectations or provide a level of consistent, high quality bandwidth. Too many people connecting via too few mobile masts, tunnels and embankments make the signal at best inconsistent and in many cases, non-existent. A different model is required, one that leverages an intranet to deliver digital on-board services.
Transport providers need to embrace on-board digital services
The current passenger experience on many trains and coaches remains below standard. Rail providers are having a constant battle to try and stay out of the headlines, whilst at the same time investing money to improve the rail network, therefore the last thing on the boardroom agenda is to spend more money on upgrading the on-board Wi-Fi. And yet, despite the negative press coverage passenger numbers continue to rise in parallel with passenger expectations, as we demand more from rail providers to justify the ever-increasing ticket prices.
This begs the question - Is there an aspect of the passenger experience that could be improved without huge investment or rising costs?
The short answer is “Yes” – and it comes in the form of on-board digital services. Now, of course different travel providers will have different customer bases, with different content requirements. For example, regular commuters will be more interested in catching up on programmes missed the evening before, news programmes or travel updates and are less likely to want to stream movies than passengers settling in for a long journey.
Re-building the passenger relationship
On-board digital services provide transport operators with a wide range of content and genres; from kids’ animation, news, documentaries to horror and Sci-Fi, in audio, text and video formats, with or without subtitles or closed captions for the hard of hearing and nearly 200 languages from Gaelic to Pashtu. To maximise passenger engagement, content can be tailored to match the specific needs of any passenger audience.
It is time for transport providers – rail and coach – to embrace on-board digital services and improve the passenger experience. Transport companies have a real opportunity to use the latest digital solutions to improve the passenger experience and rebuild customer relationships.
Click here to read more about the future of on-board entertainment in our free ebook: