Why Humans Should Be at the Heart of Transportation Innovation

Technology offers no value to us unless it creates experiences to augment the well-being of individuals and the larger society. Douglas James Rankin blogs on why mobile connectivity will put the transport industry on the right track.

Gitex_RobotMy colleagues recently returned from the Middle East and Africa’s largest technology event attended by more than 100,000 guests from 100-plus countries. They had the chance to see Sir Tim Berners Lee, the British engineer and scientist who is best known as the inventor of the World Wide Web, announce a new start up meant to decentralize the Internet and restore power to the people in regard to their personal data. I personally find it energizing to know the world’s greatest living genius continues to turn the wheels of innovation 28 years after launching the modern Internet.

CLICK TO TWEET: CommScope's Douglas Rankin explains why the transportation industry is well placed to invest in connectivity in the right areas.

This news sums up one of the big themes at the show, that technology offers no value to us unless it creates experiences to augment the well-being of individuals and the larger society. It’s really about empowering people and improving our lives in ways never imagined.

And I’m not just talking about flying taxis and a robot police force. Something a bit more relatable and closer to my heart – and probably a high percentage of my fellow Europeans – public transportation.

Mobile coverage will put rail operators on the right track

We all read countless reports and industry research discussing the critical role of superfast broadband as a business enabler - and we absolutely agree that it’s a necessity for any organisation committed to delivering a first-class service. From offering the ability to transfer documents and communications at lightning speed to real-time data analysis, fibre-optic superfast broadband has changed the game for businesses across the globe.

Yet, despite this, I still find it challenging to access the Internet or make calls consistently while I’m taking the train home to my beloved Scotland. The provision of mobile connectivity should be a baseline requirement as we look to the digital future of transportation and providing that seamless end to end journey experience, a must in today’s world.

The good news it is possible. CommScope has been involved in innovative projects across Europe, including the world’s longest rail tunnel which runs underground for 57 kilometers, with trains traveling at 250 kilometers per hour.

In Germany and Italy, manufacturers are building new trains with on-board wireless systems already equipped, while mobile operators invest in track-side infrastructure. And in the Nordics, the Öresund train service, a rail link between Copenhagen in Denmark and Malmo in Sweden, offers its passengers consistent and reliable mobile coverage, despite being run in co-operation with seven different train providers across the two countries.

Bringing the available network from the track side into the train is probably the biggest challenge faced by operators when looking to provide seamless mobile coverage to rail passengers.

The digital economy depends upon ‘always available’ fast and timely mobile connectivity. Users desire it and transportation companies must deliver this service and go beyond being a provider. To truly innovate, they must harness the power of digital mobile technology.

I think the transport industry is well placed to invest in the right areas if we work together. You are invited to register for one or more of CommScope’s new three-part webinar series devoted to exploring the specific issues facing communications networks in transportation applications.

Sign up here http://ow.ly/TCcI30mcoYN.