Prevost partners with Icomera to provide Wi-Fi and Internet connectivity
(July 11, 2018, Sainte Claire, QC) — “In this day and age, Wi-Fi usage on coaches can become absolutely crazy,” said Robert Hitt, director, Prevost Aftermarket Training, during the recent Ride and Drive 2018 event in Hagerstown, MD. “Wi-Fi and Internet costs will only go up as coach passengers get more comfortable streaming on their own devices.”
Addressing this customer concern, Prevost has again capitalized on a new opportunity to go the extra mile. In doing so, Prevost is pleased to announce its partnership with Icomera U.S. Inc., Rockville, MD, a global leader in onboard Internet connectivity and electronic entertainment systems.
Through this partnership, Prevost makes Icomera’s solid-state integrated mobile router available for high-performance onboard wireless services and a wide range of content options through an array of cellular providers. Developed specifically for a mobile environment, this system allows passengers to connect to Wi-Fi on their individual devices and access movies and Internet content.
“This feature is particularly compelling for operators covering different regions within the US and Canada. The benefit here is having several cellular providers packaged into this one system using separate cards for each location which keeps roaming costs at a minimum.”
The Icomera solution is available factory-installed on new Prevost coaches. Through an exclusive agreement, Prevost also is Icomera’s Certified Partner for aftermarket and will install the Icomera unit at any of its 14 service centers throughout North America. The entire process takes about four hours.
“No more arguing over whether passengers are going to watch romcom, sci-fi or action adventure,” says Hitt. “They will be able to make their choices and enjoy them in their own space.”
“Icomera solutions operate on Open Architecture principles that allow flexible and upgradeable services to meet the requirements of the customers using the product; and keep within any set budget for Internet access.” says Icomera Sales Director, Gabriel Lopez-Bernal. “The Icomera unit works off the Wi-Fi inside the coach without reaching out to the network and running up the cost of service.”
“The standard package for Prevost coaches offers about 15 movies and 15 hours of television,” says Lopez-Bernal “However, we are working with Prevost to add more content to include classic films, and still keep it at the same price.”
Pro and Premium packages are also available from Icomera that include a greater selection of content. Lopez-Bernal says the system provides one-solution management of onboard connectivity and entertainment.
“The computer propagates the Wi-Fi network on the vehicle,” he says. “Passengers connect and are redirected to a captive portal. We have worked with Prevost to develop where all the available content is stored for easy access.”
The Icomera system can block bandwidth-intensive websites and restrict all inappropriate content. A CRM (Customer Relationship Mgt) tool allows operators to collect passenger information and email addresses from passengers who opt in for direct-marketing.
The unit is fully browser-based; no third-party application to download or update. The system is backward-compatible with several generations of browsers for Android, Windows and Apple. Icomera can provide a list of compatible devices it has tested.