Internet access on the airport bus
An agreement between transport operator Arriva and Swedish mobile connectivity business Icomera will see the installation of free Internet access and real-time vehicle tracking on the Green Line express coach service between Luton International Airport and central London.
The fleet of buses has been equipped with Icomera's Moovbox M Series mobile broadband gateway, which provides Wi-Fi connectivity on the move with download speeds in excess of 2Mbit/s. The vehicles also leverage the Moovbox for GPS-based location, enabling Arriva staff to monitor and track the fleet in real-time.
The Green Line airport express operates a direct round-the-clock service between Britain's fourth largest airport and London's Victoria Station terminus.
"International travellers expect Internet access at the airport and in hotels, so it was only natural for us to provide free Wi-Fi to and from the airport as well," said Brian Drury, commercial director at Arriva The Shires & Essex.
The mobile broadband gateway acts as a bridge between a vehicle and high-speed cellular data networks, providing Wi-Fi access and an Ethernet-based local area network for connecting on-board systems such as CCTV, automated announcement, and e-ticketing.
The Green Line service uses Vodafone's 3G HSPA network, which has excellent coverage on the highway route between Luton and central London. This deployment follows other successful Wi-Fi installations, including the Glasgow Flyer bus service between Glasgow Airport and the city centre, and Arriva Scandinavia's train services throughout Denmark.
"Equipping airport express buses and trains with Internet connectivity is a common sense decision for public transport companies such as Arriva," said Frederik Gustafsson of Icomera. "As Wi-Fi equipped handheld and portable devices continue to proliferate, so passenger Wi-Fi will be increasingly in demand. But the operational benefits of having a vehicle connected to the Internet – such as passenger security and vehicle location – are very often the key drivers upon which a fleet operator makes that investment decision."