Traditionally, the greatest limitations imposed on the field of onboard communications were directly related to the capacity of cellular networks; lack of coverage, insufficient bandwidth, etc.
Fortunately, over the last few years, these drawbacks have been overcome and, through the use of state-of-the-art cellular technology, mobile broadband is now available.
As a result, the latest onboard communication challenges are now focused on the management of large fleets of vehicles. 2.0 onboard communications are now being migrated from equipment, allowing onboard systems to communicate, towards a communications management solution, optimizing onboard service deployment and performance.
One of the most common problems affecting onboard communications is areas with little coverage, where the quality of communications is insufficient for onboard services to work. Consequently, a 2.0 onboard communication solution should consider using various telecommunication carriers and provide a dynamic and adaptive solution to guarantee basic service levels.
Such solutions would also optimize cost management by allowing automatic carrier changes in roaming areas that represent a higher cost and by simplifying the integration of a new data service from another carrier, thereby minimizing switching costs.
Another challenge for the new onboard solutions is the deployment and maintenance of the thousands of vehicles that need communications. New management solutions should provide tools allowing deployment without highly qualified personnel in the field. Zero touch provisioning (ZTP) has become a fundamental tool to minimize field operations in this sense. However, a management suite should also simplify the integration of new services, which, in turn, simplify concept testing and deployment in fleets.
There are increasingly more services and applications for fleets, which entail different criticality levels and traffic consumption. Consequently, management of what services are available, and the associated maintenance costs, becomes more and more complex. An advanced communications solution should provide network visibility, analyzing what applications are available, the consumption of each and the service levels provided by them.
Finally, the evolution of SaaS services now allows you to globally select providers who best suit the needs of each fleet operator. Moreover, these turn an initial investment (CAPEX) into maintenance costs (OPEX), simplifying the implementation of new ICT solutions in fleets. Therefore, 2.0 onboard communications should bear in mind there are different routing policies for different cloud services (HTTP traffic) and should apply the routing policies that best match a certain application now that traditional routing based on IP is no longer valid.
Teldat is working on 2.0 onboard communication solutions, providing a management suite that contemplates the simultaneous use of various mobile networks. Furthermore, said solution is apt for mass deployment and provides visibility regarding the route coverage per carrier and when it comes to data usage and the behavior of different onboard applications.