Even Offline feels like Online

With the Unwired Edge WiFi On-board Portal.

Psst… In our industry, we don’t like to talk about it, but trains can also be offline sometimes. Tunnels, mountainous regions, limited network capacities, crossing country borders and the associated network switch – as much as we would like it, a 100% internet coverage is simply not guaranteed with the current network infrastructure.

For passengers, this situation understandably leads to frustration: the WiFi connection is established, only to be greeted by a continuously spinning loading icon when trying to access the WiFi portal? Not exactly building trust. A passenger would like to place a food order while in a tunnel, only to be greeted by a “Page Not Reachable” message? Plenty of time to reconsider purchasing from the onboard restaurant.

With the Edge WiFi On-board Portal from Unwired, not only are these problems a thing of the past.

On-board vs. Cloud Portal

From a passenger’s perspective, there is no difference between an on-board or cloud portal – however, for the operator, the difference is significant. After selecting the respective Wi-Fi network, in both cases, passengers are greeted by the Unwired WiFi Portal, which provides travelers with essential route information, connection details, news, entertainment offerings, and many other contents. However, while with the cloud portal, the provided content as well as the portal itself need to be accessed initially through the internet, the on-board portal is directly provided through the router in the vehicle, allowing it to load independently of the internet connection.

There are several significant advantages for our customers as a result:

  • Content such as passenger information is differentially synchronized across all vehicles in the fleet thanks to the Unwired Edge Cloud. This process is fast, saves valuable data volume, and reduces ongoing costs.
  • The optimized user-friendliness contributes to increased customer satisfaction – through seamless roaming in connection with the on-board portal, customers always feel well connected.
  • Our captive portal, whether on-board or cloud-based, is easy to use even for users without HTML knowledge, allowing them to populate it with editorial content in just a few clicks. This reduces administrative costs and enhances the company’s appearance.
  • Standardized yet flexible: Our WiFi portal is designed as a standard product that is compatible with future generations of devices, while still being customizable to meet your individual requirements.

The Unwired Edge WiFi Portal is operated as a Docker/OCI container or as a virtual machine. On Unwired Edge OS-enabled devices, it is ready to use within minutes.


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The Unwired On-board Portal

Our on-board portal is an absolute lightweight and runs reliably even on compact routers like the Netmodule NB3800. It can even provide a media portal for royalty-free content on devices of this price range. And the best part is: The Unwired Captive Portal can also be virtualized to run on existing routers and servers, such as those from Icomera, in the vehicle, to provide Unwired Edge WiFi.

Setting up the portal is extremely simple. With just a few clicks, the portal can be created and filled with initial content. With the help of Edge Cloud device management, it can be assigned to device groups or individual devices in no time. The intuitive and user-friendly interface of the Edge Cloud allows even less technically savvy users to customize the portal in no time. On the other hand, technically savvy users will especially appreciate the functionality of the on-board portal.


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Technical functionality

Technically speaking, the Unwired Edge WiFi On-board Portal represents an integrated passenger Wi-Fi solution that includes all the necessary components such as a captive portal, media portal, DNS and DHCP server, software-based router, bandwidth management, monitoring, and DNS-based content filter. The Unwired Edge WiFi Portal can be combined with the internet access services (VPN, bonding, etc.) provided by Unwired or other internet service providers. Furthermore, it operates autonomously even in the event of an internet uplink failure, ensuring uninterrupted service.

All content managed through the Unwired Edge WiFi Content Management System or sourced from external providers is differentially synchronized to the integrated storage of the routers. Ongoing content changes are updated with low latency using a push mechanism, ensuring timely updates. In contrast, all Unwired portals that are delivered directly from the cloud service via VPN are referred to as cloud portals.

The on-board portal enables WLAN users to seamlessly roam between other on-board portals and cloud portals, such as those found in stations. Roaming between independent routers within the same train is also seamlessly possible with the offline portal. The allocation of IP addresses is secured through fleet-wide automatically allocated subnets, enabling seamless roaming of clients even on the IP level.

Regarding the WLAN feature set, both the cloud and on-board portals support the Captive Portal API (RFC 8908) to signal the presence of the captive portal to modern WLAN clients. Furthermore, all connections are TLS-encrypted, ensuring secure communication.

Typical deployments of the on-board portal can serve between 100 and 1000 simultaneous users. For example, a Netmodule NB3800 in combination with the on-board portal and Unwired CloudLink as a WAN bonding solution can easily serve 100 or more users, while larger multicore Intel devices like the Lanner R6S can handle up to 1000 users.

Achieve maximum availability and customer satisfaction with the Unwired on-board portal.

The Unwired on-board portal offers both travelers and businesses a reliable and always available solution for sections of routes with poor network coverage. It enables seamless roaming, reduces ongoing costs, and provides a user-friendly interface that is suitable for both technically savvy and less experienced users. In summary, with the Unwired on-board portal, even offline feels like being online.

If you are interested in leveraging the benefits of the Unwired on-board portal for your business, do not hesitate to contact our technical experts. We are happy to support you in setting up your individual portal and tailoring it to your specific needs.

Don't hesitate and contact us now.

Ready to unlock the full potential of our on-board portal for your business? Our expert team is ready to assist you and personally explain the numerous benefits and advantages. Whether you have questions or need a customized solution, we are here for you. Utilize our contact form to get in touch with us today.