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Nomad Digital
IndustryInformation technology
FounderGraeme Lowdon
Nigel Wallbridge
Area served
Key people
Ron Mackintosh (Non-Executive Chairman)
Reece Donovan (CEO)
Condition monitoring
Passenger information

Nomad Digital is an Internet Protocol (IP) Connectivity provider to the transport sector. It deploys wireless broadband connections for trains, metros, trams and buses, including passenger Wi-Fi services and remote condition monitoring for on-board rail components. Headquartered in Newcastle upon Tyne in England, it operates globally.


Nomad Digital was founded by Graeme Lowdon and Nigel Wallbridge in 2002.[1] The co-founders met during the sale of the telecommunications business Wide Area Markets to the business-to-business Internet trading company J2C.[2] Lowdon and Wallbridge identified an opportunity to increase bandwidth and hence provide high speed data and Internet connectivity to moving vehicles, such as trains, using the wireless WiMax system, which can operate through tunnels and underground.[3] As well as providing Internet connectivity, wireless connectivity enables streaming of CCTV security images and allows onboard train equipment and systems to be checked in real time.

Initially funded by co-founders Lowdon and Wallbridge, in mid-2006 Amadeus Capital Partners with support from T-Mobile's Venture Fund (T-Venture) invested £8 million venture capital into Nomad.[2]

In December 2016, Alstom announced its acquisition of Nomad Digital for a consideration of €36 million from Amadeus Capital Partners, SEB Venture Capital and Deutsche Telekom.[4] The transaction closed in January 2017.[5]


Nomad Digital aggregates a number of communication methods (such as 3G/4G cellular and trackside wireless) to provide a data connection to the train.[6] It connects this to its on-train network that runs along the length of the train and uses Wi-Fi access points in every carriage to create a public hotspot network, providing passengers with access to the public internet and (where available) to other entertainment and information services.[3] The on-board Communications Control Unit also allows train systems to be remotely visible and monitored by the train operator in real-time.[7]


The company's first contract was with train operator Southern, offering broadband services on its Brighton to London Victoria service. In 2004, the contract was signed and the project was delivered in partnership with T-Mobile. In the UK, Abellio ScotRail, Arriva CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains, First Great Western, Heathrow Express, NI Railways, South West Trains and Virgin Trains West Coast have utilised Nomad's services.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14][1][15][16]

In January 2014, Nomad was contracted to supply the equipment to support the provision of T-Mobile Wi-Fi and multimedia services for passengers travelling on the intercity services operated by Polish State Rail operator, PKP. Up to 300 rail vehicles were equipped with the technology, which also enabled remote condition monitoring of the individual cars and providing the facility to locate their position on the routes.[17][18]

Also in 2014, Nomad signed a contract with Virgin Trains to undertake a fleet-wide WiFi upgrade. The Nomad upgrade was deployed on 56 Pendolino and 20 Super Voyager trains.[15]

In 2015, Nomad was contracted to provide the passenger Wi-Fi platform for Union Pearson Express that connects Union Station in downtown Toronto with Toronto Pearson International Airport, Canada's two busiest transportation hubs.[19]

In June 2015, Nomad became the first transport technology company to join The Internet Watch Foundation. Nomad brought The IWF's fight against online crime to the railways, by offering an integration of an IWF-licensed service on all existing and future passenger Wi-Fi systems. Nomad is helping to protect UK train passengers from exposure to criminal online content.[20]

In November 2015, Nomad established a 10-year partnership with ÖBB (Austrian Federal Railways) to deliver the world's largest multi-transport connectivity deployment. The partnership includes new on-board technology services for up to 900 ÖBB trains as well as 2,000 buses.[21]

Also in November 2015, Nomad reported preliminary financial results for the full year ending in 30 June 2015. Results showed revenue growth of 47% to £42.7 million, with EBITDA of £1 million following an investment of £4 million in R&D.[22]

Business expansion/acquisitions

In December 2013, Nomad was selected as part of the Future Fifty programme, an initiative launched earlier the same year by TechCity in conjunction with the UK Government.[2][23][24] Nomad has also been listed in the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 for four consecutive years. The HIscox Tech Track 100 recognises Britain's fastest growing private technical companies, based on their average sales growth in the three-year period prior to selection.[25][26]

In 2007 the company acquired Qinetiq Rail, with Qinetiq obtaining shares for a £1.5m investment in Nomad. In March 2013, the company acquired German-based CCTV system supplier Inova (Hildesheim) and in October 2013 formed the joint venture, NomadTech with Portuguese company, EMEF, to address the requirements of the railway aftercare market to use wireless solutions in condition based maintenance.[27][15][28] The technology has been deployed on over 140 trains of Norwegian State Railways (NSB) as part of its plans to reduce maintenance costs and improve fleet availability.[29]


Passenger Wi-Fi/Portal/Infotainment

Infotainment solutions including onboard screens are developed in Nomad Digital's Hildesheim office in Germany.[30][31]
In 2011, Nomad signed a contract with Eurostar to deliver onboard Wi-Fi and infotainment as part of a £700m fleet upgrade to improve services to passengers on the high-speed routes from London to Paris and Brussels. The upgrade, which includes the overhaul and refurbishment of existing trains and also the purchase of 10 new e320 trainsets from Siemens enables a high speed connection to the internet enabling passengers to stream content to their own devices at all times by means of a web portal.[32][33]

Remote Online Condition Monitoring

In November 2013, Nomad Digital and EMEF, the primary Portuguese Railway maintenance company, formed a joint venture called Nomad Tech.[34] Nomad’s current ROCM customers include Vy, Comboios de Portugal and Metro Trains Melbourne.


  1. ^ a b "F1 team boss is North-East entrepreneur". Northern Echo. 4 March 2010.
  2. ^ a b c "Future Fifty names second group of tech companies it will back". Financial Times. 6 December 2013. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014.
  3. ^ a b Wilson, Bill (26 October 2005). "Rail internet access picks up speed". BBC News.
  4. ^ Alstom to acquire Nomad Digital, world’s leading provider of connectivity solutions to the railway industry Amadeus Capital Partners 21 December 2016
  5. ^ "Alstom to acquire Nomad Digital". Metro Magazine. 21 December 2016. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Amtrak selects Nomad for on-train wi-fi programme". Railway Gazette International. 24 February 2011.
  7. ^ Hitachi Rail Europe (1 May 2013). "Hitachi Rail Europe selects Nomad Digital for On Board Server solution for IEP" (Press release). Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
  8. ^ Scott, Jennifer (16 July 2013). "Scotrail fleet to get free Wi-Fi". Computer Weekly.
  9. ^ "WiFi on-board". Cross Country Trains.
  10. ^ East Midlands Trains (4 November 2014). "Broadband Boost for Thousands of East Midlands Trains Passengers" (Press release).
  11. ^ Hamilton, Alex (14 December 2013). "First Great Western details free onboard Wi-Fi plan".
  12. ^ Mohamed, Arif (30 April 2007). "Heathrow Express claims Wi-Fi first". Computer Weekly.
  13. ^ "Free wi-fi for South West Train passengers". BBC News. 15 September 2014.
  14. ^ "Nomad Digital Sign Fleet-Wide UK Fast WiFi Upgrade for Virgin Trains". ISPreview. 20 October 2014.
  15. ^ a b c Turner, Julian (12 May 2014). "Talking Integrated wireless connectivity on trains with Nomad Digital's Jay Saw". Railway Technology.
  16. ^ Nomad Digital. "New partnership launched with Translink Group" (Press release). Retrieved 6 August 2018.
  17. ^ T-Mobile (23 January 2014). "T‑Mobile Wi-Fi and multimedia for PKP passengers" (Press release).
  18. ^ Chustecki, Janusz (1 July 2014). "Pierwszy pociąg PKP Intercity z bezpłatnym Wi-Fi już na torach". (in Polish).
  19. ^ "UP Express selects Nomad wi-fi for 'seamless experience'". Railway Gazette International. 5 February 2015.
  20. ^ Nomad Digital (12 June 2015). "NOMAD BECOMES THE FIRST TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGY COMPANY TO JOIN IWF" (Press release). Archived from the original on 1 October 2015. Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  21. ^ Nomad Digital (13 November 2015). "NOMAD DIGITAL ESTABLISHES 10-YEAR PARTNERSHIP WITH ÖBB (AUSTRIAN FEDERAL RAILWAYS)" (Press release). Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  22. ^ Nomad Digital (23 November 2015). "Nomad Digital strengthens balance sheet" (Press release). Retrieved 3 February 2016.
  23. ^ "Newcastle data firm Nomad Digital heads to China". The Journal. 14 January 2010.
  24. ^ "Future Fifty adds 25 new digirati". Management Today. 11 December 2014.
  25. ^ "Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100: Visualsoft makes prestigious league table". TeessideLive. 13 September 2013.
  26. ^ "2011 Tech Track 100 - Rank: 11 - Nomad Digital". Sunday Times: Fast Track. Archived from the original on 5 December 2013.
  27. ^ "Nomad Digital acquires Inova Multimedia". Railway Gazette International. 19 March 2013.
  28. ^ Barrow, Keith (22 November 2013). "Remote monitoring joint venture launched". International Railway Journal.
  29. ^ "Nomad Digital to deploy telemanagement technology on NSB trains". Railway Technology. 3 December 2013.
  30. ^ Churchill, Sam (23 February 2011). "Nomad Digital for Amtrak Nationwide". Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  31. ^ "NS Dutch Railways implements Nomad Digital wireless internet technology". Global Railway Review. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  32. ^ Eurostar (27 September 2011). "EUROSTAR AWARDS ONBOARD WIFI CONNECTIVITY AND INFOTAINMENT CONTRACT TO NOMAD DIGITAL LTD" (Press release). Archived from the original on 10 June 2013.
  33. ^ "Eurostar to launch wifi next year". Business Traveller. 17 May 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
  34. ^ "Nomad Digital and EMEF create remote monitoring joint venture". Railway Gazette International. 22 November 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2018.
This page was last edited on 11 January 2020, at 23:37
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