Providing Wi-Fi Hotspots on Public Transports

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BACKGROUND

Having public Wi-Fi leaves a good impression on visitors in locations such as restaurants, shopping malls, government buildings, public parks and more; however, both public and private sectors are hesitant to provide Wi-Fi services in public transportation, subway stations and logistical vehicles. The challenge is network devices deployed in a fast-moving environment are difficult to maintain a stable connection, the client devices connected to the network devices are even less stable and needs to re-establish connection frequently, making it an ineffective internet hotspot service.

In recent years, the rapid increase in internet bandwidth demand has led internet service providers to heavily invest in network infrastructure within the city, leading to an improved cellular reception in bus and train routes even under high-speed motion environments. Currently, most public transports in developed countries and cities are offering reliable Wi-Fi hotspot connections within city limits.

Project Requirements

Our partner, a mobile virtual network operator company in Mexico, is looking to deploy cellular network devices to public transport vehicles. The device should have the following requirements:

  • Reliable Wi-Fi hotspot service
  • The objective of the deployment is to offer public Wi-Fi services to passengers with minimal to none network outages even in tunnels, highways, and high-density urban areas. The device must be able to support more than 30 client devices at 2.5 Mbps per device and a total download bandwidth of over 80 Mbps.

  • Dash cams real-time cloud sync
  • Our partner’s selected public transport uses an external cloud storage for their dash cam footage. The network device must support real-time streaming to ensure file integrity and secured storage during unexpected incidents.

  • GPS tracking
  • The network device must also support GPS tracking, providing location updates in a 30 second interval. The data will be uploaded to the end user’s cloud server and used in a third-party smartphone application to provide data on estimated arrival time.

  • Tolerance to high temperature
  • The summer of Mexico has an average temperature of 28 degrees Celsius (83° Fahrenheit). Although air conditioners in the vehicles are always in operation during public service, the network device must be able to tolerate high heat under considerably higher temperatures.

TOPOLOGY

Solution

The most suitable device for this scenario is Cirrus GL-AP1300LTE, our PoE powered ceiling wireless access point with 4G LTE network. It provides a 400Mbps (2.4G) + 867Mbps (5G) Combined Wi-Fi Speed, supports MU-MIMO mass device connectivity technology for large amounts of passenger’s client device connection at the same time, and includes a GPS module for vehicle tracking.

Reliable cellular connection

A critical factor of this project’s success is to maintain minimal to none network outages under vehicle in-motion environments. GL-AP1300 uses an ultra-powerful single-chip Wi-Fi system-on-chip (SoC) CPU, IPQ4018 Quad-core ARM running at 717MHz CPU clock speed. The high-speed CPU processes network data with minimal delay between sending and receiving data packets.

GL-AP1300 uses a powerful EP06-E LTE category 6 module, it has two external full band 4G antennas, covering a wide range of frequencies between 700MHz and 2.7GHz. The extended range improves connection stability over long distances in a moving vehicle and increases obstacle penetration capabilities including trees and walls.

High temperature tolerance

GL-AP1300LTE can tolerate a high operating temperature of -10 ~ 40°C (14 ~ 104°F) with minimal change in operation for up to 60°C, and a storage temperature of up to -20 ~ 70°C (-4 ~ 158°F). The device can remain active under Mexico’s hottest summers.

Customizable Service & GPS Module

GL-iNet runs on OpenWrt highly customizable firmware and provides both hardware and firmware customization. As per our partner’s request, we implemented a GPS module within GL-AP1300LTE for location tracking and tailored the firmware to support the module by automatically transmitting GPS data directly to the end user’s cloud server once per 30 seconds interval.

Our partner can also customise GL-AP1300LTE’s OpenWrt firmware using our user-friendly Imagebuilder software, to design their own user interface for the device’s admin panel and display layout for their GPS data.

Remote monitoring and network analytics

GL-AP1300LTE comes with GoodCloud, our remote device management platform for our partner to perform maintenance and support services.

Our partner can perform batch firmware updates remotely upon requests, to ensure the latest security settings and GPS firmware are implied, import new features and debug device issues if any.

Our partner can also respond to support requests by remotely accessing the admin panel for network and application settings or accessing the device terminal via SSH for in-depth diagnostics and settings configuration.