News from BWCS

Chennai Metro Riders to get Access to “Closed-Loop” WiFi System

Wed 26 Feb 2020

Passengers travelling on the Chennai Metro will soon be able to access a slew of TV and film content, via a Closed-loop, in-train WiFi system. The free service is to be supplied by local start-up Sugarbox and, according to reports in the Hindu newspaper, is set to begin operations “by the end of this week”. The system is distinct from the on-station WiFi services, provided by AirTel to Chennai Metro passengers, which went into operation in November last year.

Officials of Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL), quoted by the Hindu, claimed commuters will merely have to download the Sugarbox app and register in order to view the service for free. The on-board content will include TV series and films, in several languages including English, Tamil and Hindi. Apparently, travellers will be able to watch on-the-go, as well as download programmes or movies to watch at a later date.

An official speaking to the paper said “We want to keep commuters engaged while travelling and give them more reasons to use public transport.” The Metro company has already started advertising the service on board its trains. Last year, CMRL floated tenders to supply WiFi services on the 32 stations and in the train carriages of the 45km network.

Opened in 2015, Chennai Metro is a two-line, 42 train system that criss-crosses the sprawling Southern Indian city of just over 7 million people. It has a ridership of some 1 million passengers per day. Operations are set to begin soon in North Chennai, with an extension from Washermanpet to Wimco Nagar. This will add a further 10km of track and an additional 10 new trains. At present some 24km of track runs underground and mobile networks do not operate in this section.

Last month, Delhi Metro launched high-speed WiFi on its Airport Express train services and promised a swift roll out to the rest of the network. The free WiFi service is being installed and operated by the New Delhi-based Maxima Digital and Techno Sat Comm Consortium backed by Russian telco MaximaTelecom – which itself is behind the on-train WiFi services on the Moscow and St Petersburg Metros.

The roll out of track-side networks, on-train WiFi services, the growing market for passenger WiFi and on-board entertainment will be the main subjects of BWCS’s WiFi on Trains Conference later this year. For information on speaking and sponsorship opportunities at the 2020 event, please contact .

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The 2020 conference ( ) is sponsored by Icomera, Nomad Digital, Xentrans, Fluidmesh and RADWIN.

Also, for Wireless Suppliers who may be interested, BWCS has launched a brand new conference on the growing market for private wireless networks and 5G services at Ports – please see where the full programme is now available.

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