Communications

Optimised small cell communication in trains

26th May 2022
Louis Regnier

Optimized small cell communication in trains thanks to the ELTEC CyBox AP-A Access Point with Integrated Compact Antenna from HUBER+SUHNER.

ELTEC Elektronik have introduced an access point with integrated antenna, developed in cooperation with HUBER+SUHNER, which revolutionises Wi-Fi installation in rail carriages due to its compactness and enables railway operators to provide significantly higher data throughput per passenger for a better on-board Wi-Fi experience. The CyBox AP-A provides stable, secure, and broadband connections between the local Ethernet and mobile devices, enabling users to communicate with the Internet or access local data such as timetable information and multimedia data in a passenger train or underground according to the latest standards.

The CyBox AP-A access point with integrated HUBER+SUHNER SENCITY Rail antenna was developed to provide multiple Wi-Fi access points in the passenger compartment, thus offering a higher bandwidth for each client and enabling faster surfing. The combination of access point and antenna in a common housing reduces the installation effort and at the same time brings the access points closer to the user. The redundant Wi-Fi networks increase operational reliability because if one access point malfunctions, the remaining access points step-in and the total bandwidth is reduced only hardly noticeably.

Small cells are better supported now

Increasingly, "small cell" solutions with a larger number of access points per train carriage are being implemented in trains, i.e., smaller Wi-Fi cells with a limited number of users, which significantly increases the data throughput per user. For this reason, ELTEC has combined its access point directly with an antenna from HUBER+SUHNER in one housing. This eliminates the need for RF cabling in the train and reduces line loss to a minimum.

"To improve Wi-Fi coverage for passengers and staff, railway operators are responding with new technologies in and on trains," says Peter Albert, Managing Director of ELTEC Elektronik, about the jointly developed CyBox AP-A, which HUBER+ SUHNER also markets as the SENCITY® Rail ACTIVE antenna. "Small cells with a larger number of access points in the carriage increase the data throughput per user. Our jointly developed solution supports this trend. The combination of the ELTEC access point and the HUBER+SUHNER antenna in a smart housing results in a highly integrative solution that seamlessly fits into the interior. Now, multiple access points per carriage can provide passengers with significantly higher bandwidth so they can surf with their mobile devices even faster and at the same time more reliably."

Easy installation and reduced line loss

The CyBox AP-A access point requires only one single Ethernet cable, which provides power (PoE+) as well as data connectivity. This provides railway operators with a compact option that allows for easier and more cost-effective installation compared to other solutions, as it does not require additional antennas and RF cables. "With the introduction of new Wi-Fi generations, more antennas and RF cables will be needed. By integrating the access point directly into the antenna, there will be less losses due to the RF cables, as the distance to the access point is no longer an issue," says Daniel Montagnese, Head of Product Management Antennas at HUBER+SUHNER. The CyBox AP-A meets the requirements of current industry standards and has been developed in accordance with current railway standards, such as EN 50155. The access point can be mounted horizontally on the ceiling to cover the environment with high network density, or vertically on the wall to increase the range. As to mounting Daniel Montagnese says: "Due to the same mounting footprints, installation is quick and straightforward. Future upgrades are simplified, thus, saving costs for the railway operators and reducing the risk of downtimes. As new devices are being produced to support future Wi-Fi generations, railway operators can be sure that their trains are future-proof thanks to the same, consistent mounting."

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