Technology and transport: Making a way for Wi-Fi | Infrastructure news

Bus stop PexelsAs more governments look to the transport sector to support national objectives and drive growth in the economy there is an increasing need for them to find ways to optimise operations, improve network efficiency and increase passenger usage.

For many governments around the world technological solutions such as Wi-Fi are one way to do just this.  The potential of technology, such as Wi-Fi, in transport is not just about passengers – when with the amplification of the Internet of Things (IoT) – it can enable smarter lifestyles for everyone.

As more and more solutions, such as Wi-Fi, are being deployed across transportation hubs in South Africa, the use of and demand for more is growing locally across Africa.

Riaan Graham

Riaan Graham, sales director at Ruckus sub-Saharan Africa

“As emerging markets continue to look to transportation and rail infrastructure improvements to further their own growth, access to improved technology continues to grow in importance,” says Riaan Graham, sales director at Ruckus sub-Saharan Africa.

“This however requires an integrated long-term perspective with technology as a critical cornerstone. Let’s be honest, transportation hubs – whether focused on cargo or passengers – are changing and many are turning to technology and Wi-Fi to create smart stations,” he adds.

Smart stations

Graham says the deployment of Wi-Fi networks here is designed to not only provide a high-performance wireless Internet access experience for passengers, but they also provide comprehensive, real-time data for station operators.

These new smart stations are part of the emerging global trend to create smart cities. Smart stations incorporate access to real time train schedules, UBER or taxi services around the stations and the ability to book and plan your extended travel once you exit the stations.

Hotel information can also be shared as well as things to do and see in the area.  “Wi-Fi access is key in delivering these services. Smart stations enhance the experience of the traveller driving loyalty and also ultimately creating a want to travel,” Graham explains.

Commercially the benefits of introducing technology like Wi-Fi into transport operations is huge he adds.

“Operators will be able to measure and improve on travel and delivery times. With improved efficiency they will also increase revenue which places them in good standing with stakeholders.  What’s more, nearly all transportation companies are looking at new security and operational improvement applications, with IP video security being perhaps the most visible requirement.

“There is also a global trend for transportation cargo and fleet services to become more involved in value added activities such as cargo processing and logistics, which will require new processes, practices and technological advances around stock control and integration, as well as better wireless connectivity,” Graham says.

Commuters in the busChallenges to connectivity

Graham believes that the country is still a long way away from achieving this. “While there have been pockets of success, the reality is that we have no infrastructure to support this, there is a lack of investment and getting infrastructure to the outskirts always proves difficult.”

Another challenge is the quality of Wi-Fi connectivity. “I believe that connectivity as such is currently not high enough on the priority list and when it is, it’s not great Wi-Fi,” Graham notes.

“The critical test for Wi-Fi in a transport hub occurs at peak times. Companies should be looking at solutions that are able to support a high-capacity of concurrent wireless users and provide a high performance that gets users on and off the Wi-Fi network quickly, increasing usable capacity,” he adds.

“Transport has a fundamental role to play in South Africa. The viability of a stable transport sector will rely heavily on new and innovative technologies to drive forth effective, streamlined operations and reduce costs and so it is now that the sector needs to take advantage of the benefits such technologies can offer,” Graham concludes.



Additional Reading?

Request Free Copy