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«California Trains Connected Adib Kanafani, Hamed Benouar, Bensen Chiou, Jean-Luc Ygnace, Kazuhiro Yamada, Adam Dankberg California PATH Research ...»

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California Trains Connected

Adib Kanafani, Hamed Benouar,

Bensen Chiou, Jean-Luc Ygnace,

Kazuhiro Yamada, Adam Dankberg

California PATH Research Report


This work was performed as part of the California PATH Program of the

University of California, in cooperation with the State of California Business, Transportation, and Housing Agency, Department of Transportation, and the United States Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration.

The contents of this report reflect the views of the authors who are responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the State of California. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

Final Report for Task Order 5106 April 2006 ISSN 1055-1425


California Trains Connected Final Project Report Task Order PATH 5106 By Professor Adib Kanafani Principal Investigator Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering University of California, Berkeley Dr. Hamed Benouar Director, California Center for Innovative Transportation University of California, Berkeley Bensen Chiou Project Manager, California Center for Innovative Transportation University of California, Berkeley Dr. Jean-Luc Ygnace Visiting Scholar Institut National de Recherche sur les Transports et leur Sécurité, France Kazuhiro Yamada Visiting Scholar Central Japan Rail Company Adam Dankberg Graduate Student Researcher University of California, Berkeley i ii Acknowledgement The project team would like to thank many people from Caltrans and the Capitol Corridor Joint Power Authority (CCJPA) who provided various inputs, feedback, guidance and other assistance, particularly Caltrans Project Manager, Dan Lovegren, Caltrans Chief of the Division of Rail Bill Bronte and CCJPA Senior Planner, Jim Allison.

We would like to thank Mr. Douglas Cooper, Ms. Ipsita Banerjee and Ms. Sin Yi Chu for their assistance in conducting surveys and developing business models; Dr. Harsh Verma, who provided leadership on technical and security research; and the Mangers of the Central Japan Rail Company, who loaned to CCIT Mr. Kazuhiro Yamada to support the project team in researching wireless technology landscape and performing mobile Internet Protocol related improvement. We would also like to thank Dr.

Susan Shaheen, PATH program manager who reviewed this report and provided valuable input.

–  –  –

This project is to assist the Capitol Corridor Joint Power Authority (CCIPA) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) assemble a decision framework for selecting wireless Internet access on behalf of customers riding the three California State sponsored Intercity Rail Services. To accomplish this objective, we researched the state of worldwide deployment of service based on the wireless technologies, such as wireless fidelity (WiFi) and Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX), conducted a survey of the WiFi service at San Francisco Airport, and examined the historical ridership data on train routes of the Intercity Rail service. In addition, we conducted a survey on the trains offering trial Internet access based on low bandwidth communication infrastructure. The results are used with other data to develop business model options.

To support the business mode options, the project technical team researched the wireless technology landscape, examined the technology trends and options, and the specific characteristics of the operating environment of the target rail service, researched the emerging technology for enabling the mobile connectivity, and researched the vulnerability and viable security technologies.

The business model options and the technical guidelines can be used to formulate a performance specification for a high-bandwidth trackside infrastructure to connect end user devices to Internet. The specification, in turn, can be used for writing a Request for Quotation (RFQ) to solicit qualified service providers for the Internet service on trains.

Keywords: Architecture, Benefit Cost Analysis, Communications, Electronic Ticketing, Fiber Optics, Policy, Privacy, Radio, Safety, Standards, WiMAX, WiFi

–  –  –

Wireless Internet service will allow customers to conduct business or connect to websites for leisure, personal, or entertainment purposes. It will also permit train operators to leverage the infrastructure and Internet access to improve ticket collection, public safety, and security, to bundle value-added services and to implement other services for improving operational efficiencies.

The project team include the principal investigator, the director of the California Center for Innovative Transportation (CCIT) – an organization of the University of California, Berkeley Institute of Transportation Study, the CCIT project manager, University of California researchers and students, managers from the Capitol Corridor Joint Power Authority (CCJPA) and Caltrans, a visiting scholar from Central Japan Railway company, a visiting scholar from Institut National de Recherche sur les Transports et leur Sécurité (INRETS) in France, and a subcontractor.

The project team researched world-wide deployment of general wireless-based services and Internet access on trains. It also conducted a survey on the trains managed by CCJPA for wireless Internet usage and various price points in addition to researching the business model options, technology options, and industry technology trends.

Many business model options and technology landscapes and market adoptions were researched and explored. Two business and technology model options were recommended: conservative and maximized market. The conservative model option requires less low capital investment. It, however, has low revenue potential and requires relatively high running cost. The maximized market model option has high revenue potential and requires relatively low running cost. It however requires high initial capital investment. In either option, a WiFi network is used in cars of train for train riders to connect their end user devices to the on-train gateway.

For the conservative model option, the on-train gateway is connected to the Internet using satellite for downloads and cellular for upload. The initial capital expenditure can be as low as $40K per train. The annual cost of ownership, however, can be in range of $100K – $150K depending on the number of users. This option can support up to 20 users per train based on the total bandwidth of 1-2Mbps satellite downlink and a bandwidth consuming rate of 100Kbps per user. The break-even point can be achieved in 1 – 2 years.

However, the number of users it can support is limited, thus the revenue potential is limited. There is little chance of offering value-added services due to the limited communication bandwidth. To support more users or offer value-added services, it requires more initial capital expenditure and much higher running cost, and the breakeven point can be achieved in 5 – 7 years depending on the business strategy, the bandwidth needed and revenue/cost sharing partnerships.

For the maximized market model, the on-train gateway is connected to the Internet via a high-bandwidth trackside wireless infrastructure connected to Internet via fibre-optical connection. The communication beacon infrastructure can be spaced from one kilometer vii viii to 3km each and can support up to 160 users per train even if only half of the communication capacity is used for Internet service. The rest of the capacity can be used for administrative, homeland security, train operation and other value-added applications.

Since the initial capital investment can be as high as $4M - $9M, the break-even point can’t be achieved if there is no cost sharing through partnerships. If the 50% of the initial cost for initial capital expenditure can be shared with other partners or is supported by fund for homeland security mandate, the break-even point can be achieved in 7 years, and the profit potential can be quite high after the break-even point, especially if some valueadded services can be deployed.

The characteristics of train riders affecting the usage and pricing point of the Internet access on train for determining the business model options are trip frequency, duration of trip, and pricing points of various charging types. There are two types of target user for the Internet access service on train: business trip; other. The business-trip riders have the characteristics of high frequency and medium travel duration. The other type of target user has characteristics of low frequency and long travel duration.

For business-trip traveler, the proposed price is $39.99 per month. It is determined based on the following factors: preferred price point for monthly charge type; number of year needed to break even; preferred price point for daily charge type. This pricing point is equivalent to $2.04 per trip, and is at 0.6 standard deviation lower than the mean of the per-trip plan in survey. For the non-business-trip riders, the best price point is $3.4/hour.

To support these business model options, the technical team assessed the wireless technology options and trend; researched the US legal requirement and federal regulation; examined wireless standard and capacity; designed the simulation environments and conducted test using moving vehicle and roadside mobile connectivity equipments to research the hidden issues and the technical merit of the emerging mobile IP technology. The objective of the technical research is to devise the technology infrastructure which will stay on the technology grow path and with open standards.

The researched and selected technology options are summarized as follows:

WiMAX can reduce the Trackside Infrastructure cost and make it better over 10 years • Options to be considered are Direct WiMAX to the train or DSRC-like technologies, and • Satellite communication is desirable for backup and emergency operations.

ixxTable of Contents




Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Project Overview

Project Objective

Related Project


Chapter 3 Business Modeling


Revenue Forecast

Research and Survey Service Deployment on Internet Access via Wireless Technologies

Research Historical Ridership Data on Trains of Intercity Rail

Survey WiFi Users at SFO Airport

Survey Wireless Service Deployment in Transportation Environments

Conduct User Survey on Low-bandwidth Internet Access on Train

Business Model Derived from Survey Data

Research State of High-Speed Internet Access on Train

Business Modelling

Concept of Operation

Business Strategy and Market Growth

Business Model Options

Chapter 4 Regulatory and Legal Requirement

FCC Trends in Unlicensed Spread Spectrum Devices

Wireless Specifications

IEEE 802.11b

IEEE 802.11a

IEEE 802.11g

IEEE 802.11i

IEEE 802.16 Wi-Max


Power Limits

Equipment Limitations and Certification


Laws on Antennas and Towers

Height Limitations

Chapter 5 Technical Options and Technology Trends

What is the Reference Architecture?

Mobile Internet for Train Commuters and Enterprise Network Architecture.......... 35 Open Standard Radio Technologies

Connectivity to the Train

Components of Network Architecture

xi xii Strategy

Wireless Security Suite

Key Policies In-Train

Advanced Security and Networking Services for Secure In-Train Rail Environment and Enterprise Network

Chapter 6 Conclusion

Summary of Problem


Recommendations for Future Research

–  –  –

Caltrans – California Department of Transportation CCJPA – Capital Corridor Joint Power Authority WiFi – Wireless Fidelity WiMAX – Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access WISP – Wireless Internet service provider SMER - Statistical Multiplexing Effect Rate is an estimate (ratio) of the effective bits transmitted during a period. For example, if the SMER is 20 % during an hour of connection, the actual time for transmitting data during an hour of connection is only 12 minutes.

–  –  –

Internet access service is now spreading everywhere. The number of Internet access points (Hot Spots) has been steadily increasing over the last years in various locations such as hotels, airports, rail stations, etc. There are today over 60,000 Hot Spots worldwide [i] of which one third are in the United States. Mobile internet becomes now the next challenge for many service providers. Ships, planes and trains are becoming connected to the outside world. For example, major airlines like Lufthansa, Singapore airlines, All Nippon Airways are now providing Internet access to passengers. The railroad sector is also catching up with this new effort to bring more productivity and entertainment possibilities to train travelers by offering Internet access while traveling.

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