Mobile wireless communication services have penetrated into many people s daily works and lives. The contents of communication have also shifted from voice-dominating applications to multimedia services.
A common feature people traveling onboard high-speed public transport vehicles is that their journeys last for hours or even days. They would like to make use of these few hours to make telephone calls, read/send e-mails, browse a website or catch up on some work. There are also passengers who wish to have real on-demand entertainment services including music, movies, and games. Although compared to 10 years ago, onboard communication and entertainment services have improved a great deal in terms of convenience, style and content, a truly personalized environment is still in its infancy.
Only satellite telephones are accessible. Most entertainment programs are carried onboard. Only very limited news or sports programs are broadcast real-time directly from satellite. This is because the technology is not quite there to make it happen. Before taking a look at the latest technologies available for facilitating communication onboard the high-speed vehicles, let s take a look at the history of mobile communication.