Amtrak Acela Tests WAAV AirBox WiFi At Speeds of 150-miles-per-hour

  • Cambridge, MA
  • May 15, 2009

Amtrak officials are using WAAV AirBox technology to study the cellular coverage and bandwidth throughout the Northeast Corridor railroad line. The tests of mobile broadband routers and antennas are being used to learn whether and how to deliver broadband Internet access to passengers at speeds of 150 miles-per-hour (240 kilometers-per-hour) on the Amtrak Acela passenger train.

As the provider of wireless Internet on Boston’s commuter trains and Greyhound / BoltBus intercity bus fleets, WAAV, AirBox® multiple-connection 3G cellular routers already connect passengers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Amtrak engineers are studying the coverage of each cellular provider (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and other networks) and the availability, reach and reliability of cellular signals along the railroad right-of-way between Washington, DC and Boston.

Earlier this year, Amtrak chose WAAV to deliver wireless Internet service to the presidential inaugural trainon its route from Philadelphia to Washington DC. Multiple AirBox routers kept President Barack Obama and his staff, plus dozens of guests and news media connected to the Internet while in transit, connected to email, news and audio or video downloads.

“This is the fastest passenger train in the United States, said J.C. Fulknier, WAAV chief technology officer, who led the development team that reconfigured AirBox devices for Acela. “And naturally, we’re pushing the technology limits with new capacity and multiple carrier coverage to increase the service appeal for Acela’s riders.”

Introduced in 2000, Acela train connects Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, DC, and is capable of 150 miles—per-hour speeds on a section of track in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Average speeds of 70-80 m.p.h. are possible on other portions of the route.

About WAAV:

WAAV (pronounced "wave") offers network communication solutions, applications, and services. WAAV designs, manufactures, and markets the patented AirBox line of rugged cellular routers to provide broadband connectivity, turning vehicles into WiFi hotspots or remote environments into reliable Internet connections. WAAV's Control Room service allows centralized monitoring of all devices in the field. WAAV introduced the first broadband mobile cellular router in 2005 and was the first to offer a multiple-connection cellular router for broader bandwidths, increased coverage area, and redundant connectivity. WAAV continues to develop its product line to improve performance, reliability, and functionality for industry-specific solutions. With world-class reliability, performance, and support, WAAV’s product portfolio covers enterprise, government, fleet, video, original equipment manufacturer (OEM), and machine to machine (M2M) markets. Engineering services are available for custom integration and specific industry solutions.