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Table 1 High level overview of the characteristics of different wireless technologies

From: A novel network architecture for train-to-wayside communication with quality of service over heterogeneous wireless networks

Parameter Satellite network Cellular networks Wireless data networks
Bandwidth High Low-high High-very high
  (2-50 Mbps) (0.17-14.4 Mbps) (2-50 Mbps)
   (future: 0.1-1 Gbps) (future: 0.1-1 Gbps)
Delay High Low-very high Very low
  (500 ms) (100-1000 ms) (<50 ms)
   (future: <50 ms)  
Current coverage International National Limited
  (but no coverage in dense urban areas, tunnels) (for most recent standards not yet fully achieved) (new networks needed)
Maximum train speed Very high High Low - high
  (up to 500 km/h) (up to 250 km/h) (120-250 km/h)
   (future: >250 km/h) (future: >250 km/h)
Technologies DVB-S [78] GPRS (2G) [79] Wi-Fi [80]
  DVB-S2 [81, 82] EDGE (2.75) [83] Flash-OFDM [84]
  DVB-RCS [85, 86] UMTS (3G) [87] WiMAX [88, 89]
   HSPA (3.5G) [90] (future: LTE (4G) [91], LTE-Advanced) (future: WiMAX 2)