London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has partnered with Netskrt to enable people to stream shows from ITV Hub.
The trial service is now available on three electric Azuma trains running between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh.
Rail users will be able to stream over 6,000 episodes in ultra-high definition from ITV Hub “without eating into personal data or the train’s wifi bandwidth”.
How does it work? The Azuma trains trialling the ‘edgecasting’ technology have a hub which stores on-demand content from ITV Hub, meaning that customers are not streaming the shows as they are already downloaded.
This allows customers to continue watching programmes when they are going through tunnels or hard-to-reach network areas.
Content is also uploaded while the trains are moving, meaning that the catalogue is updated regularly and passengers get access to the latest titles.
The technology is powered by Netskrt edge Content Deliver Network, and customers will have to log into their own ITV Hub account via LNER’s free onboard wifi.
This trial comes in response to data from a recent LNER survey, which found that 79 per cent of business travellers consider good-quality wifi an important factor when choosing to travel. When the wifi is temperamental, 76 per cent opt to use 4G or a personal hotspot, while 30 per cent stop using their device altogether.
Danny Gonzalez, chief digital and innovation officer at LNER, said:
“Customers are at the centre of our innovation journey, and we are constantly looking for ways to enhance the digital experience LNER delivers. 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.
“Edgecasting 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.”