- 27 Sep 2023
Closing the indoor mobile coverage gap for today’s multitasking passengers
Poor mobile connectivity inside transport hubs represents a significant pain-point for today’s smartphone carrying passengers. Whilst many busy hubs, including major airports, are addressing this need, others risk falling behind.
Listen to this article:
Edmund Wilkinson, Head of Sales Development for Cellnex UK, explains how today’s 4G and 5G in-building connectivity solutions are delivering the reliable voice and data coverage that ensures passengers, staff and partner organisations can seamlessly go about their business.
Enabling passengers to access mobile data when travelling with improved connectivity for transport hubs
Better and more robust mobile connectivity is becoming ‘a must-have’ for fulfilling the needs at busy transport hubs. Handling hundreds of thousands of travellers on a daily basis, today’s bus, coach, train, ferry and airport operators need to eradicate the coverage issues and service gaps that can impact the smooth running of their stations and terminals – and result in the delivery of a second-class customer experience.
Mobile coverage is now a key requirement for passengers who rely on their mobile phones to check the latest travel information, receive and respond to emails, catch up on social media, stream videos or make calls wherever they are.
More often than not, they’re also using their phones to download important travel documents like e-tickets and boarding passes. Apps are increasingly used to access online timetables making journey planning easier and embarkation a seamless experience. In addition, with just a few taps, passengers can also add additional elements to their travel itineraries – like pre-booking a taxi or hotel room – while wayfinding their way to the right departure gate.
Meanwhile, operational and customer-facing teams rely on mobile coverage to access real-time information and engage in the cross-departmental liaison that’s essential for the smooth and safe running of services. Encountering poor or non-existent coverage instantly excludes them from the latest communications and reporting that is so vital at peak passenger flow times. It also becomes more challenging to effectively manage face-to-face customer queries when scheduled travel services are delayed or cancelled.
It’s a similar story for the personnel employed by partner organisations, such as retailers and food and beverage concessions. For them, reliable connectivity is critical for undertaking a multitude of day-to-day tasks, including taking customer orders and handling mobile payments or dealing with deliveries from suppliers.
The indoor mobile coverage challenge in transport connectivity
The rapid digitisation of the ways in which we work and travel means reliable indoor mobile connectivity is no longer a nice-to-have, it’s an operational necessity. But all too often poor call quality and inconsistent data service is a commonplace occurrence at transport hubs. A scenario that worsens when demand rises during peak passenger travel times.
Delivering uninterrupted, consistent coverage isn’t easy when thick walls, steel structures and the use of metallised glass in building design, particularly at airports, all have a major impact on mobile signals – reducing their strength or blocking them completely. The result is more mobile ‘not spots’ that cause frustrations for passengers and staff alike.
It’s an issue that’s set to get worse as today’s mobile network operators transition their 4G networks to 5G connectivity. Operating at a higher frequency, 5G signals are even more sensitive to disruption by physical infrastructure.
Legacy Wi-Fi networks aren’t the answer for today’s commuters, especially business travellers in particular, who are unwilling – or not permitted – to sign up to public Wi-Fi networks to send or receive work files. Inherent security and handover issues in Wi-Fi networks mean they cannot meet the performance of a well-designed and deployed mobile indoor solution.
A different approach for transport connectivity – the in-building advantage
An in-building connectivity solution – like a distributed antenna system (DAS) – now makes it possible to deliver consistent 4G and 5G mobile signals to wherever it is needed. Designed and built to rigorous industry standards, a network of radio units and small antennas transmits the signal from the UK’s four mobile network operators throughout the indoor area. Professionally delivered with minimal disruption, Cellnex In-Building Connectivity Solutions provide the reliable mobile experience that travelling passengers have come to expect at home, at work, and on the move.
Working in partnership with Cellnex UK, transport operators can eliminate the frustrations caused by poor mobile coverage and give everyone – staff, passengers and enterprises – the connectivity they demand.
We understand the growing need for smart connectivity and have a proven track record in deploying telecoms infrastructure solutions throughout the transportation sector.
To find out more, or discuss your specific requirements, get in touch at In-BuildingSolutions@cellnextelecom.co.uk