LNER, Netskrt unveil live trial for on-train UHD video streaming | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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Reacting to the demands of the UK’s train traveling public, London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has announced a UK-first edge-casting proof-of-concept trial designed to enable passengers to stream shows from the ITV Hub on-demand service in Ultra HD without eating into personal data or on-train Wi-Fi.
LNER edgecasting trains 21JUly2022
LNER calls at 53 stations along the East Coast route, totaling 936 miles including major towns and cities between London, the East Midlands, Yorkshire, North East of England and Scotland.

Outlining the details of the trial service, which is now available on three electric Azuma trains running between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh, technology partner Netskrt Systems noted that train users increasingly expect to have seamless connectivity while on-board trains. According to LNER data, 69% of customers say that good-quality Wi-Fi is an important consideration for them when choosing how to travel, rising to 75% and 79% of solo and business travellers, respectively. However, when faced with glitchy Wi-Fi, 76% opt to use their own 4G or personal hotspot, while almost a third (30%) stop using their device altogether.

To solve this customer pain point, LNER is using Netskrt edge-casting technology on select services – the first company in the UK to do so – in order to allow passengers to watch more than 6,000 episodes, picking up straight from their own ITV Hub account by logging in to LNER’s free onboard Wi-Fi.

The Netskrt edge Content Delivery Network (eCDN) edge Content Delivery Network (eCDN) combines cloud-based machine learning with network-aware edge caching, storing on-demand content on-board the Azuma trains, with the aim of giving passengers the same viewing experience they would enjoy at home, even when going through tunnels or hard-to-reach network areas. Shows upload while the Azuma trains are on-the-move, so catalogues are constantly updated and passengers have access to the latest content. Shows are available to watch as soon as they are published on ITV Hub.

Wi-Fi bandwidth “Customers are at the centre of our innovation journey, and we are constantly looking for ways to enhance the digital experience LNER delivers,” said the train company’s chief digital and innovation officer Danny Gonzalez.

“We know how frustrating it can be to have poor connectivity and whilst there are continued efforts to improve network services across the UK, this transformational trial directly addresses the issue. Edge-casting will dramatically improve onboard entertainment for our customers – critically, without eating into the Wi-Fi bandwidth of our business customers. We hope this first-of-its-kind trial lays the foundations for the technology to be adopted across all UK rail operators in the future to enhance customers’ experiences.”