News from BWCS

5G Trams in West Midlands to Trial GoMedia’s Transport Accessibility Service

Mon 8 Mar 2021

UK-based on-train infotainment provider GoMedia has announced the debut of its Transport Accessibility solution on 5G-equipped trams in the West Midlands. The new 5G services are being tested as part of a trial jointly hosted by West Midlands Metro and West Midlands 5G along with GoMedia and its parent company Icomera.

According to GoMedia, Tram Number 35 and a string of tram stops have been equipped with its Transport Accessibility system, which offers assistance to the partially sighted on public transport. The 5G connections are also being used to test access to live on-board CCTV footage. In the future, an array of other services are planned for trial.

West Midlands Metro, which is currently in the midst of £1.3 billion expansion project, has said that, in the future, entire networks of trams could be equipped with 5G sensors. These will be used to help engineers identify issues and perform maintenance on carriages and vital network infrastructure. Looking forward, passengers will also be able to enjoy real-time travel information, on-board entertainment and a much safer and more reliable service. Information on passenger capacity, crowding and social distancing will be available to help with COVID.

GoMedia’s Transport Accessibility service aims to solve the problem of a lack of real-time information for those who need more help when travelling on the UK public transport network.

The company, now a subsidiary of Icomera, said that the focus of the trial is to increase the number of independent journeys the visually impaired can make whilst travelling across the public transport network. The system has been developed in collaboration with the Royal National Institute of the Blind and provides timely and accurate information to passengers who need additional assistance while in a station or on the transport network. Relevant information is transmitted to passengers’ devices in the format that they require, over 5G cellular networks.

According to Roger Matthews, the Managing Director of GoMedia: “Our Vision and Transport Accessibility solution proves that we want to bring the best solutions to our transport clients. Together with our partners and our Passenger Information System we are able to bring revolutionary products to our clients.’’

Chris Holmes, Programme Director – Transport at WM5G said: “We are really pleased to be awarding funding to projects that we truly believe – when proven – will transform transport within the region. We look forward to seeing what our new partners deliver and will support them in the realisation of real and tangible benefits.”

Last year, GoMedia announced a major tie-up with Swiss National train operator SBB which has enabled the operator to offer updated passenger information services. Initially at least, the free service is only available on SBB’s International fleet of trains across Switzerland, Germany, Italy and France.

The roll out of services in Switzerland, which started in early 2020, also enables customers to use GoMedia’s on-board entertainment platform to access up-to-date journey information such as the live train times, next station, live mapping and train speed as well as a range of films, TV shows, games and magazines. The portal is reached via passengers’ own devices and is custom designed with SBB's branding. Content is accessible in four languages; German, French, Italian and English.

On-train WiFi services, trackside wireless networks, the growing market for passenger WiFi and on-board entertainment will be the main subjects of BWCS’ WiFi on Trains Conference on November 16th and 17th this year. For information on speaking and exhibiting and the one remaining sponsorship spot at the 2021 event, please contact  .

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The 2021 conference ( ) is sponsored by Icomera, RADWIN and, new sponsor, GlobalReach Technology.