RADWIN and BAI Communications have revealed that they have been testing RADWIN’s new Terrabridge Inter-Carriage Link solution on board a Toronto Subway train. According to the Israeli-based broadband wireless solution supplier, the link can offer connectivity speeds of up to 1.5Gbps between cars.
The TerraBridge wireless connectivity system operates at 60GHz mm Wave and, RADWIN says, is uniquely designed for rail applications. The company points out that it is so small and light that it can be deployed behind train destination signs, to avoid any visual impact. In addition, the supplier argues it can be quickly adapted to different and dynamic train composition scenarios as it allows automatic connection and disconnection between train cars.
Applications in the 60GHz field have traditionally appeared mainly in military and scientific research applications. However, the frequency is unlicensed and open for all to use and develop applications for, as long as these conform with FCC rules of non-interference. Facebook has been operating its Terragraph project, which uses 60 GHz for fixed wireless in dense, urban areas, for several years with partners, including MicroTik, Nokia, Qualcomm and RADWIN. This has yielded a handful of commercial deployments mainly localised networks.
BAI has been operating a WiFi and cellular network across the Toronto Subway since 2016. The company says it averages 200,000 log-ins from 100,000 unique users per day.
The Subway, Canada’s largest, consists of four lines, 75 stations and 76.9km of track. It is operated by the Toronto Transit Commission and carries an average of around 915,000 passengers every weekday. In addition, the TTC is working on the addition of two light rail transit lines: Line 5 Eglinton, a 25-station, 19km line along Eglinton Avenue, scheduled to open next year and Line 6 Finch West, a 17-stop, 11km line due to open in 2023.
According to Dion Cunningham, Product Development, Innovation and Solutions Director at BAI Communications "RADWIN’s TerraBridge enables us to easily create an end-to-end gigabit network on our customers' trains and empower passengers with broadband services. mmWave technology is ideal for such scenarios, thanks to its high throughput and small form factor."
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 Ross.Parsons@BWCS.com .