Interview with Sam Taylor, Marketing Executive at Nomad Digital

Nomad Digital is known as the leading provider of wireless connectivity and ICT solutions to the transportation sector, employing over 300 people with development facilities in the UK, Germany and Portugal. Nomad boasts what it calls “a rich suite of passenger and operational applications and services, which enable operators to significantly enhance the passenger experience, while delivering improved levels of reliability, safety and operational efficiencies”. The business provides passenger information systems, on-board entertainment platforms and Remote Online Condition Monitoring. They serve customers in more than 20 countries.

Nomad Digital technology is used on:

  • More than 11,000 vehicles, representing 47% global market share for passenger WIFI.
  • 36,000 PIS screens provide infotainment to 1.7 billion passengers.
  • Systems carry out 7 million WIFI sessions each month.
  • 50,000 miles of track annually.
  • Over 50 customers.

Nomad Digital is making a valuable contribution to technology and contributes greatly to the Northern Powerhouse agenda, being based in Newcastle Upon Tyne. Over the years Nomad’s award-wining WiFi has been listed as one of the top 20 favourite pieces of engineering alongside engineering greats.  Its most recent achievement was winning an award for International Success, showcasing its global expansion and growth.

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What idea led to the formation of the company?

Nomad Digital was founded in 2002. The original co-founders first encountered one another during the sale of the telecommunications business – Wide Area Markets to the business-to-business Internet trading company J2C.  One of the founders was based in Canada and was struggling to get a WiFi signal at his home in the countryside. WiFi, however, was eventually provided locally to him using a $200 dollar kit that was able to pick up signals from a mast 6km away.

Observing the prevalence of high-speed wireless services in Canada, the Nomad founders thought of applying such technology to non-fixed settings, with trains seen as an ideal candidate. They saw the potential as far as trains were concerned and, within a weekend had written the core software for Nomad and the company was officially launched.

How has the need for Nomad Digital developed over the last few years?

It is safe to say WiFi has become a regular aspect of our daily lives and this is no different when we are travelling. Passengers expect to be able to work, to have up to date information and to be entertained while they travel. Now we all expect HD video and streaming services on our phones! Solutions continuously evolve to take advantage of advances in technology including 3G, 4G, dedicated trackside networks and will soon include satellite, 5G and beyond.

The ever-growing number of transport passengers identify WiFi as a reason for choosing a particular operator. This gives operators the opportunity to respond to this through class-leading technologies, that provide an outstanding passenger experience. Technology is constantly developing and products which provide an intelligent journey on trains and other transport services, have dramatically improved. So, as passengers continue to demand seamless connectivity and the other value-adding services that come with it; for example, security, media, passenger information systems and many more, Nomad Digital will continue to provide industry-leading solutions to operators within the industry.

What can we hope to see from Nomad Digital in the future?

Passenger experience has always been at the forefront of a lot of what Nomad do and that that will continue, with solutions that provide seamless connectivity such as, Trackside Radio Networks, or passenger engagement through media portals. Furthermore, passenger safety is changing due to Coivd-19, so Nomad will continue to develop its safety solutions to industry best practice. The future will see greener transport becoming a main method of travel, and Nomads products will enhance journeys and provide data and intelligence for operators.

Nomad is the pioneer of the Intelligent journey – a shared and secure network infrastructure to which all authorised on-board systems and passenger devices may connect. Our vison is ‘To be the world leader in connected transport, renowned for continuous innovation of technology and provision of quality solutions to deliver the intelligent journey.’ We strive to deliver the best possible solutions which the industry has to offer.


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