Global wireless infrastructure specialist AlanDick is providing the radio frequency (RF) planning, system deployment and testing for WiFi hotspots on UK rail operator First Great Western’s station network. The WiFi network, across all of the company’s stations in the West of England, is being operated by international WiFi operator The Cloud.
With 85 stations in their First Great Western and First Great Western Link networks, Tim Hayne, head of e-Business for the rail operator said, “The launch of the system marks a milestone in bringing wireless broadband to our customers. Being able to work throughout your journey and make the most productive use of your time is one of the key benefits of train travel. We expect WiFi access at our stations to be hugely popular amongst our customers, who together make 60 million journeys a year on our services.”
A key reason The Cloud chose AlanDick Group as its infrastructure partner was because of the expertise AlanDick has in the rail sector having already WiFi enabled stations throughout the world including major London stations such as Euston, Kings Cross, Waterloo, Victoria and Paddington.
At each of the stations AlanDick engineers performed site surveys - deciding on practical locations for the WiFi radio access point equipment and central communications equipment – cabinets, router, switch, ADSL connections and power supplies. Included in this was the surveying of practical cable routes from the access points to the central communications equipment.
RF coverage surveys were then carried out to determine the most economic access point provision commensurate with having high speed WiFi coverage throughout the platforms, main concourse, ticket offices, cafes, shops and waiting rooms.
After installing all of the radio and communications equipment AlanDick engineers fully tested the systems at each station to the satisfaction of The Cloud’s operational staff - including full RF coverage testing of each entire station area to ensure high speed blackspot-free operation at all public areas.
George Polk CEO and founder of The Cloud said: “This deployment offers travellers a very valuable service. WiFi access is increasingly demanded at major travel hubs, such as railway stations and airports, as everyday life relies on being able to get on the internet.”
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