The transportation industry, indeed travel itself, has been changed by digital technology and, especially, by always-on networking. Passengers expect to book travel online, receive travel updates as text messages, and even use smart devices and traveler WiFi aboard buses, planes, and trains.
That same connectivity is expected at travel hubs. There passengers want to check timetables, look up travel details, search for stations amenities, and get local directions, all using their smartphones. WiFi is no longer an optional amenity for transportation companies to consider. It has become a core element of customer experience.
The Italian State Railways Group – Gruppo FS Italiane – is responsible for 8,000 daily trains and 600 million passengers annually. Providing an excellent customer experience is key to meeting the expectations of savvy Italian travelers and remaining competitive in the global transportation market.
To meet passengers’ digital expectations, the rail company created a package of services, now being offered in 14 stations, that expands free WiFi to provide services to passengers, guests, and the local communities where railway stations have become significant social and economic hubs.
Called the Wi-Life Station project, the railway company aims to redesign the concept of a train station, embracing the idea of a “smart station in a smart city” that offers an appealing digital experience to everyone.
Gruppo FS Italiane chose Cloud4Wi Volare as the platform that provides Wi-Life Station to users, giving them a better experience while in the station while also collecting valuable information about these visitors and their behavior, which can be shared with various stakeholders sharing space within the terminal.
Among the world’s most experienced guest WiFi platform providers, Cloud4Wi Volare is a lean, cloud-based platform that can be easily managed alongside WiFi hardware, such as the Cisco Meraki access points used for Wi-Life.
Cloud4Wi Volare also supports easy customizations to tailor each installation to local conditions and partners in each station where Wi-Life Station is installed. Thus, free guest WiFi is a bridge to transportation for departing passengers and a bridge to the community for those at the end of their journey.
Location-based services, such as navigation inside the station and a digital timetable, are core to the Wi-Life Station experience, which also provides other information services to WiFi users. Cloud4Wi can also track foot traffic anonymously, helping with station design, utilization, and even staffing issues.
With Wi-Life Stations in operation across Italy, Cloud4Wi Volare traveler WiFi is helping make travel more productive, more comfortable, and better integrated with the digital world outside the travel experience.
With networks in 80 countries and more than 65 million daily users, Cloud4Wi Volare is the choice of venues – retail, sports, hospitality, transportation, and others – that require a guest WiFi platform that is powerful, yet easy to install and integrates with the hardware already in use.
Cloud4Wi has prepared a white paper that describes Gruppo FS Italiane and the Wi-Life Station project in detail. It is available as a free download.