Those of us that commute by train to work, know the trials and tribulations we go through, regarding our phones. More than any other area, it’s where we find so much inconsistency when it comes to using our smartphones. We find that our signal cuts out frequently, which means we can’t call or text anyone. If you’re in the middle of a conversation, the line will go silent and dead within seconds.
You’ll have to just sit tight and wait for your train to come within reach of a cellphone tower.
But seriously, isn’t there a better way of doing things? Even airports have drastically improved their services to give customers plenty of access to the internet and signal strength.
Governments are concerned about this because if there were an accident in a part of the line where nobody had signal strength, it would be incredibly difficult to gauge how bad the incident was.
Not to mention, poor smartphone usage ability on trains, hurts business.
Governments want this to be improved for many reasons.
Free, reliable WiFi.
For many decades, Virgin Trains has been the top dog when it comes to fast rail travel in the UK Yet the services for smartphones have been severely lacking. Avanti West Coast is the company taking over and they have pledged to give customers fast, free WiFi in the future.
But it’s not just speed that counts, but reliability.
With the company opening up 25,000 more seats, WiFi has become a top priority for the company. Smartphone users can take great solace in this fact because Virgin Trains charged it’s customers for access to their onboard WiFi service. This has come too little too late for many commuters who simply will use their network data just off muscle memory.
However, Vodafone has conducted a 5G trial and seeks to win and prospect government contracts. The government wishes to give uninterrupted 5G WiFi to commuters on-board all UK mainline trains by 2025.
The speeds planned will be 1GBps initially. This speed is far higher than the previous generation of WiFi support on trains but a lot lower than what 5G is capable of.
One suspects that the speed will be kept low, in favor of large bandwidth, enabling all commuters to have WiFi access, at reliable albeit slightly slower than average speeds.
Big data entertainment.
That’s all well and good for mainlines, but what about the rest of the world?
It doesn’t matter if you’re in New York, San Francisco, London, Osaka, St. Petersburg or Paris, you should never be without access to the internet. If you’re stuck on a train for a couple of hours due to delays, time ticks by awfully slowly. You feel like the problem is out of your hands, which it is.
Thus, a feeling of restlessness can overcome you, despite having a smartphone in your hands. Why? Well, chances are you’ve played all the games, you’ve read all your emails and messages so why would you want to browse social media over and over? Far better to watch a blockbuster movie.
The wait is that possible?
Big data is the future and with 5G insight, downloading and watching movies will become a reality; while on the move. In order to do this while not having access to 5G, you need a network that provides you with large data plans.
On SMARTY, you have a 30GB data, package with unlimited calls and texts for £10.00 a month. If you feel like going big, you can choose 50GB with calls and texts for £15.00 a month.
This means you could download the latest blockbuster films from Netflix or Amazon Prime anywhere in the world. At least if you’re stuck on a crowded train, you can whisk yourself away into another realm.
Improving your productivity.
Looking around the train, you’ll see a few people working on their tablets. Sat beside them you could see someone using their smartphone to text someone. Or, are they?
As smartphones have gotten faster and more user-friendly, we can see that our products can be improved. We can use our smartphones for our work, reliably and have access to the same features that desktop computer software gives us. If your employer utilizes G-Suite, you have the ability to download lots of different G-Suite apps for your phone. Whatever kind of task you’re involved in at work, can be completed on your phone. You can write long documents, use various industry-specific apps, and generally, keep up with what’s going on at work.
If you’re in a leading role, this is incredibly useful, since you can allocate tasks and assign new projects to your teams, all while stuck on a train that isn’t even moving.
Watch the world.
Imagine you’re on a train, going back home for Christmas. On the ticket, it said your journey would take 2 hours but here you are, sitting in rush hour and it looks like it could be double that. It’s easy to feel claustrophobic and impatient, but you could tap on a live stream app and watch the world turn.
Apps such as Twitch and Mixer, offer you the ability to watch any live streams that are happening all around the world. Whether it’s for a live video gaming competition, or just someone live-streaming their day. There’s no limit to what you could watch on these apps.
Something mundane as a Japanese person live-streaming their day in a restaurant, or just someone talking about movies they like.
If you’re not in the mood to play games or watch shows, watching real-life events unfold in another country is quite captivating for that time you’re trapped on the train. The fact is, smartphones make long and agonizing boring train journeys, tolerable. Just make sure the Internet is there.
With a new company taking over from Virgin, fast, reliable WiFi will become the norm for those of you that are traveling to work on the UK mainlines. With 5G just around the corner, you’ll be able to download and watch the latest movies.
If you’re not on a mainline then fear not, because large data package networks offer you the same kind of service you would have gotten.