The first trial will be on three French national railway TGV trains. Since the trains travel at speeds as fast as 175 mph, this seems like quite an accomplishment.
As regular readers of this blog know, I try to follow wireless convergence fairly closely.
Typically, this is the garden variety Wi-Fi/Bluetooth or cellular/GPS/ Bluetooth convergence. Hybrids are interesting and are almost certainly the future of wireless design.
There are as many potential hybrids as there are applications to support them. Here's one that has potential: UDcast, a provider of wireless IP broadcast solutions, has teamed up with the European cellular operator Orange to deliver Internet service wirelessly on the French national railroad's fastest trains using a Wi-Fi/satellite hybrid.
The first trial will be on three TGV (Train a Grande Vitesse) trains. Since the trains travel at speeds as fast as 175 mph, this seems like quite an accomplishment. To provide some context, Orange Business Services is the official contractor for the project.
UDcast's product enhances IP transmissions that would otherwise be scrambled by the satellite's delay. It adapts TCP and HTTP protocols to optimize bandwidth and increase the data transfer rate.
UDcast is very much in the mobile TV business so I suspect that although IP-TV was not mentioned in the official announcement, the download speeds are impressive.
I reported on a somewhat similar hybrid with a satellite twist last week when Wavecom introduced a chip that can be used to deliver global coverage for asset tracking applications by integrating cellular, satellite and GPS control on a single chip.
You can learn more about Wavecom's innovation at Wavecom's wireless chip aids asset tracking with cellular, satellite, GPS combo.com.
Where hybrids, combos, convergence or whatever you want to call it is concerned, the sky is literally the limit.