RingGo solves on-board entertainment conundrum


Passengers on First Great Western trains will be able to sit back, relax and access on-train entertainment services with a single phone call to the RingGo pay-by-phone service.

The service is available to rail travellers on specially adapted First Great Western carriages. Using touch-driven television screens on the back of every seat passengers can view a range of programmes, paying for the service with just their mobile phone and a credit or debit card.

The deployment is being provided by First Great Western in partnership with Volo TV and Cobalt Telephone Technologies, and offers customers a choice of on-demand, high quality television programmes. The service has been trialled in overnight sleepers and in one coach on-board a high-speed train since late last year. With good usage and positive feedback, the service is being extended and charges for viewing introduced via the RingGo service.

Viewers can choose from a selection of comedy, drama, documentaries, children’s programmes, sport and news, using the interactive touch screens to pause, fast-forward and rewind. After an initial free trial session, travellers who wish to view, call the RingGo service to pay a single £3.95 charge per journey, using either their credit or debit card.

As with phone parking, the use’s mobile telephone number is used as a key identifier within the registration process. This means that those who have previously used either Volo TV or the standard RingGo parking service are fast-tracked through the payment process, as their card details are stored securely and recalled for each use of the service.

‘Public reaction to our on-board entertainment trial has been extremely positive so we are pleased to be entering this next commercial phase of the roll out,’ comments Neil Micklethwaite, commercial director, First Great Western. ‘While a number of different models were considered, we soon realised that secure mobile phone payments were the only viable way to satisfy our technical and operational requirements.’