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entertainment & connectivity

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welcome

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

entertainment & connectivity

brought to you by

EDITOR

Jo Austin WRITER

Richard Williams PUBLISHER

Sue Williams ASSISTANT EDITOR

Julie Baxter CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Matt Bonner ART DIRECTOR

Tina-Lee McDougall DESIGNER

Louisa Horton PRODUCTION MANAGER

Clare Hunter EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Steve Hartridge COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR

David Clare

THE OBH SUPPLEMENT TO INFLIGHT ENTERTAINMENT AND CONNECTIVITY IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY BMI PUBLISHING BMI PUBLISHING LTD: SUFFOLK HOUSE, GEORGE STREET, CROYDON, SURREY, CR9 1SR, UK. T: 020 8649 7233 E: ENQUIRIES@BMIPUBLISHING.CO.UK WHILE EVERY EFFORT IS MADE TO ENSURE ACCURACY, BMI PUBLISHING LTD CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY ERRORS OR OMISSIONS. ©BMI PUBLISHING LTD 2016 IMAGES: ISTOCKPHOTO.COM OR BIGSTOCK.COM

Welcome to our update on inflight entertainment and connectivity, brought to you by Onboard Hospitality

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s publishers of Onboard Hospitality we recognise that the standard and quality of an airline's IFEC services on board is every bit as important as catering, crew and comfort. In fact, recent figures cite 64 per cent of passengers saying that they value IFE over other inflight services.

Airlines are making huge investments in this sector and according to a recent SITA report this investment is expected to reach an astonishing $6billion globally by 2020. In this review of the IFEC world, written by Richard Williams, we present an overview of the industry as it stands today. We have a feature on connectivity and a preview of the all-important AIX show in Hamburg in April. We have interviewed connectivity service providers, solutions providers, satellite companies and seatback systems manufacturers. We have an airline case study of the decision-making process leading up to a recent IFEC installation. We have talked to a number of respected figures, just as the industry braces itself for developments in technology that will change the competitive landscape. Everyone has an opinion on what is going to happen next; reading this review will give you a chance to make up your own mind.

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Check-in

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Seatback v Wifi

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Inflight connectivity

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Inflight telephony

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Interview

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Inflight films review

2016

CELEBRATING EXCELLENCE AND INNOVATION IN AIR, RAIL AND CRUISE

A snapshot from the industry experts

the all-important debate

catching up with the fastmoving tech market

talking to Kevin Rogers, AeroMobile

Iztok Franko of Adria Airlines talks about its onboard technology

Our film expert reviews the latest launches

Jo Austin, Editor

ONBOARDHOSPITALITY.COM

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check-in

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

IN FOR THE LONG-HAUL....

Check-in GOOD TO KNOW NEWS AND REVIEWS FROM THE IFEC INDUSTRY

Richard Williams reports Do you remember the films you watched on your first long-haul flight? No, neither do I. But I do recall that in those early days of IFE it was rare to get a selection with enough variety to keep you occupied throughout the flight. Fast-forward to today and the sleepless or restless passenger has choices galore, with movies of all types, TV series, music, games and even 'live news'. And this is just on the seatback screen. The modern passenger on a connected aircraft can also use their smartphone, tablet or laptop to connect to the multiple resources of the internet to watch videos, TV series and movies, update social media, and send emails.

"Now the commercial battlefield is all about coverage, as service providers try to offer airlines a consistent connection for all their passengers wherever in the world they are flying" In fact, Mr or Ms Connected 2016 will in all likelihood be using two screens: one for work and one for entertainment. The customer is not too bothered how all this works, and takes every new improvement to the InFlight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) in their stride, only complaining bitterly when the service is slow, intermittent or compromised in some way. But behind the scenes IFEC companies are waging a commercial war to make all of this magic happen - and that compeition is currently 'going nuclear'. Before passengers were offered internet connectivity via wifi, the battle was all about content. Airlines vied with each other to get the latest movies and any other content that they thought their customers would like. With the first wifi systems, capacity became more important, as operators tried to ensure that all their passengers would get the same experience. Now the commercial battlefield is all about coverage, as service providers try to offer airlines a consistent connection for all their passengers wherever in the world their planes are flying. Passengers flying around the US are currently getting the best of the IFEC experience. Outside the US, however, the picture is not so bright, and this is where the service and solutions providers are jockeying for position. All of which is good news for the industry - and each new development brings more choice for the passengers.

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NEXT GENERATION

Software solution provider Axinom will introduce its new products, helping IFE service providers to create, manage and maintain the next generation of wireless inflight-entertainment, e-commerce, and connectivity services. Axinom CMS delivers, pulls and synchronises content, data and services between on-ground and on-board systems. Axinom DRM enables secure delivery to passenger and crew devices onboard. AIX Stand 2D50.

Our new OnAir Entertainment, a wifi content streaming portal, is based on the concept of bring your own device. Iztok Franko, IT and Marketing Director, Adria Airways See page 20

SMARTSSKY4G

SmartSky Networks is launching the first airborne 4G air-to-ground (ATG) network. SmartSky4G will be operational in the US later this year. The system leverages more than 10 times the speed and capacity of the current industry standard ATG network. AIX Stand 4A60.

ONBOARDHOSPITALITY.COM

BLUEBOX WOW

Delivering a flexible wireless capability, supporting streamed video and audio, games, and digital publications. The product is lightweight and portable. AIX Stand 3B28.


check-in

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

The price point of wireless IFE to PEDs is greater than some low-cost seatback systems. Jon Norris, vp sales, Lumexis See page 7

MOVING ON: APEX CONTENT SHOW IN AMSTERDAM APRIL 18-20 2016

The Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) MultiMedia Market is on April 18-20th in Amsterdam. This is where airlines do their annual content planning, choosing their TV shows, movies, GUIs, games, audio and applications. “Nowhere else can you find mainstream and specialised content from around the globe – from both niche and major distributors – all under one roof,” said Éric Lauzon of Air Canada. “From an airline perspective, that’s tremendously valuable."

Could you predict the future of IFEC for short-, medium- and long-haul?

CASE STUDY

Kevin Rogers, ceo of AeroMobile See page 18

Inflight connectivity will become a mainstream proposition for both business and leisure travellers

AIRCRAFT INTERIORS

EXPO 2016 HAMBURG Polly Magraw, Event Manager IN RECENT YEARS, AIX has proven to be the leading event to showcase the latest innovations in passenger comfort and onboard technology, and to host debates around future trends and issues facing the industry. This will be no different in 2016, and the show has attracted more than 500 exhibitors with 60 first-time exhibitors including Spafax, AeroSense, Adaptive Channel and ComFly. They will be joining Panasonic Avionics, B/E Aerospace, Airbus, SAS, Zodiac, Boeing and many other longstanding exhibitors. The IFEC dedicated zone is hosting 15 new exhibitors showcasing new and emerging innovations in content provision, games, GUI and app creation, IFE hardware, and Inflight communications & connectivity. During AIX, CabinSpace LIVE will provide an opportunity for attendees to debate and exchange information in three workshop sessions hosted by Flight Global. AIX is one part of Passenger Experience Week, which starts with the Conference on April 4. With talks led by industry experts from Airbus, BMW, Aer Lingus and others the Conference not only offers a chance for attendees to learn from industry leaders, but also to network with peers and engage in lively debates.

"Passengers expect to continue their daily life onboard, and this will soon demand a completely seamless experience." We can imagine a future where passengers are connected and integrated completely from ground to air to ground again. Passengers are now expecting to continue their daily life onboard, and this will soon demand a completely seamless experience. AIX is evolving along with passengers. Being at the forefront of the industry we know that it is not just about interiors anymore. We look forward to working with our exhibitors to bring their customers the future of Passenger Experience.

AIX

This will be the 17th year of Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX).

The event that brings the Passenger Experience Industry together. More than 16,000 attendees including 1,000 airline buyers from 180 global airlines are due to pass through the doors of the Hamburg Messe April 5-7. 

ONBOARDHOSPITALITY.COM

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seatback vs wifi

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espite all the hype about wifi and the connected aircraft, seatback IFE systems are still popular with passengers. Is there a future for the seatback system in the connected aircraft of the future? According to the 2015 APEX Global Passenger Insights Survey, 70 per cent of passengers who responded said they would rather watch IFE via individual seatback screens, as opposed to 30 per cent who favoured using their PED with a wireless system. On the other hand, the survey also revealed that free wifi is the top IFE amenity for improving airline ratings. However, 41 per cent of passengers worldwide are willing to pay for inflight connectivity, which would appear to be a great opportunity for airlines to generate ancillary revenue. Richard Williams asked a panel of industry experts to comment on the seatback/wifi issue. Our responses are from Lumexis and digEcor, seatback manufacturers and suppliers; Lufthansa Technik, a wifi solutions provider; and Gogo and ViaSat, solutions and connectivity providers.

norBert muLLer senior vp BoardConnect, Lufthansa Systems

Q.

it's been said that the difference in price point between installing wifi and power and a seatback system has narrowed to a point where the latter makes more sense, particularly when the revenue from advertising is added into the equation. could you comment on this and flesh this out with some ballpark figures for costs? JN Jon norris: You are absolutely right that the price point of wireless IFE to PEDs (plus required power outlets for every passenger) is now greater than some low-cost seatback systems – for example our own iPAX system. iPAX is a revolutionary new wireless seatback system providing unprecedented revenue generation and entertainment capability for single aisle operators at an ultra low cost and ultra low weight that wireless streaming to PEDs can simply not match. At $1,495 per passenger iPAX provides the first truly cost-effective HD AVOD personal screen to passengers who currently have either no screen or share an overhead screen without the ability to select personalised content. In addition iPAX weighs less than half of an overhead IFE system. Onboard sales can be maximised by utilising the optional credit card reader embedded into every seat screen. In addition, airlines can select an optional 2.1A USB power outlet at just $295 per passenger. To put this into perspective, providing a stand-alone power outlet for each passenger can cost more than $1,000 per passenger without considering the cost of a wireless to PED IFE system. Nm norBert muLLer: Adding power and wifi (wireless IFE) will always be significantly cheaper

Jon norris vp sales, Lumexis

nieLs steenstruP svp international sales, Gogo

than adding a seatback solution which will be outdated within a few years. It allows your passenger to always use the latest equipment (their own iPhone or iPad) and hence allows the airline to leverage new technologies almost instantly as well – just think about Apple Pay, Surround Sound, higher display resolutions, to just name a few. We do see a market for converging the benefits of wireless with seatback, which is why we partnered with Lufthansa Technik for a PED case which allows the use of standard tablets in a seatback solution. NS nieLs steenstruP: We’d disagree with this. It’s more expensive to install seatback solutions than wifi. The cost of adding power is a separate conversation because, while it’s a great amenity, it doesn’t need to be installed to have connectivity. ONBOARDHOSPITALITY.COM

Don Buchman vp & general manager of commercial mobility, ViaSat

DaviD Withers ceo, digEcor

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systems are seeing their IFE strategy come to light, not only enabling served up content, but also giving them additional features to offer their customers (or even earn AR from) such as in-seat power. Some ballpark figures for costs are wifi at $1.5k/seat including 2.1A USB vs $2.5k/seat for embedded (formerly $8-10K).

Q.

Could you give me an update on how much of your “The classic market is linefit and how embedded seatback much retrofit? will remain on legacy JN Retrofit IFE installations make up about 60% of the total carriers but most will IFE market today. The majority switch to some kind of those retrofit installations of PED solution” are on A320s, B737s, A330s and Norbert Muller, Advertising also isn’t a B777s. Lufthansa Systems nm At the moment we are differentiator since we run focusing on the retrofit an ad network through market for BoardConnect. our connectivity solution. We are discussing linefit with all major air frame In other words, we serve ads to individuals’ devices manufacturers and will do this if and when it makes in the same way they do it on seatback solutions. DB Don Buchman: Traditionally, this may be true. sense. NS The biggest market opportunity today has been However, the new wifi entertainment sponsorship retrofit, which is where we have been focused. We models, like the one JetBlue/Amazon have are working through the linefit process for all of committed to, is lowering the entertainment our technology and have initial linefit capabilities costs. We believe these new business models will in place for some solutions on some aircraft types start to play a more significant role in how airlines with the rest coming in the not too distant future. offer content to passengers. We saw this with the We have plans in place with the OEMs that enable JetBlue/Amazon deal and we are now seeing other us to equip complex aircraft such as the 787, A350 airlines raise interest in adopting our system to put and A380. them in a position to offer an attractive platform to DB As the newest player in the space, we are advertising and promotional partners. Dw David Withers: A seatback system makes working with the airline manufacturers to ensure more sense, particularly when: the revenue from our system can be linefit at the factory, but we are advertising is added into the equation; wifi use currently 100% retrofit. We estimate in the coming rates still only show 50% when free years the breakdown to be: 20% linefit, 80% and 10% when chargeable; earlyretrofit. window movies account for Can you give me 80-90% of passenger content examples of airlines demand; studios demand a retrofitting their fleets premium for streaming that and re-equipping with your content. products? With our modular and JN Turkish Airlines (A330), Lion integrated suite of Air (A320/B737), flydubai (B737) products, airlines and Transaero (B747/B777) are not wanting to examples of airlines that have invest in heavy, retrofitted our FTTS IFE system costly and high onto their aircraft. We are in maintenance

Q.

Above: embedded seatback IFE screens from Lumexis; Previous page: Lufthansa Systems' BoardConnect in use

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digEcor dig•e•cor 1.

2. 3.

noun An IFEC company that enables all airlines to create extraordinary customer experiences or a provider of Integrated Flight Experiences (typically containing products and services that include embedded IFE, portables, LED cabin lighting, In-seat power, global content services and connectivity solutions). A provider of modular, innovative and cost effective solutions that are customisable to specific needs. A great team of specialists in their field who love a laugh, hard work and getting the job done! “digEcor’s” GLIDE embedded solution is now certified and flying” synonyms:

Worldclass, global provider, creative innovator, IFE pioneer, customer centric, high reliability

adjective digEplayer, digEcor NV, digEcor GLIDE, digEcor power, digEcor lighting, digEcor connectivity, digEcor CSP

See for yourself at www.digecor.com Visit us at Booth 3C30 AIX Hamburg 2016

INTEGRATED FLIGHT EXPERIENCE onboardhospitality.com

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discussion with a number of other airlines about retrofitting FTTS systems onto their aircraft. The Lion Air and flydubai installations are post-delivery modifications - i.e., the retrofitting of the IFE system immediately after delivery of the aircraft from Airbus or Boeing. nm Virgin Australia, Lufthansa, El Al, NEOS... NS Delta is a great example of this. They have moved from our first generation air to ground system to our second generation solution, ATG-4. Soon, the bulk of their US based aircraft will start installing our next generation satellite solution, 2Ku. DB An example would be Virgin “Low-cost wireless America, for its ten new A320 seatback systems will deliveries, changed connectivity providers and selected ViaSat. take an increasing Dw digEcor has so far announced market share over retrofit programmes with Air the next ten years” Transport International (ATI) Jon Norris, Lumexis and EuroAtlantic Airlines (EAA). ATI has installed digEcor’s 7” embedded touch screens with forward and that is why USB and PC power on the first of four B757-200 new, more flexible (and cheaper) models will own aircraft. The content, managed by digEcor Global the market in 10 years. NS We see this changing in the next ten years. We Content Services, coincides with their current L7 are leveraging the trend on the ground, which is digEplayers. EAA will be flying the system in both passengers prefer using devices they are familiar Economy and Business on three of their B767 with; namely, their own. Our Gogo Vision (GGV) aircraft. The offering includes 15” touch-screens product adds almost no incremental weight to an in Business, including our 110 volt and 2.1A USB aircraft and is easy to maintain, unlike some of the in-seat power, and in Economy 10” touch-screens seatback solutions. This has been proven in the and USB power. market with 2,200 aircraft flying with GGV. DB Seatbacks are no longer the only means to Where do seatback systems fit into the market in 10 years' time? provide passenger entertainment or a connection JN I believe low-cost wireless seatback to the cabin crew. We are seeing today passengers systems will take a steadily increasing market share prefer to use their own connected device – whether over the next 10 years as they are introduced for a laptop, mobile phone or tablet – to consume both linefit and retrofit. What we're going to see is content. We see airlines moving more to a model a steady decline in the number of aircraft operating that makes it easier to use their own devices. with outdated overhead IFE systems plus a steady Additionally, there is a movement in the airline decrease in the number of aircraft that have no IFE space toward personalisation, making everything installed on the production line. as suited as possible to the individual passenger. nm I think in ten years’ time almost all aircraft will With more online tools and apps, passengers can be equipped with wifi and connectivity. The classic receive an even more personalised experience. They embedded seatback will remain on legacy carriers can place orders for snacks and refreshments and but most will switch to some kind of PED solution in specify when they want to receive them, rather than addition to wirelessly connected displays (that can waiting for a trolley, be exchanged regularly) in the seat. The standard visiting the galley lead time to exchange embedded IFE systems or having to call makes them obsolete by the time they are installed. the cabin crew. They Passengers (and airlines) will not accept this moving can transform the

Q.

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Above: ViaSat hosts VX portal Netflix on Virgin America


onboard entertainment & connectivity

duty free experience, ordering from their phones and tablets and arrange for items to be delivered straight to their homes, or they can make lastminute travel arrangements, such as booking an Uber ride or change reservations based on reading a TripAdvisor article. All this can be done from the device, not the seatback screen. Dw Other than more passenger choice, control and communication connectivity, the main driver for change is reduced cost of ownership at the airline level. So we believe that low-cost, yet highly reliable and capable systems will become the new norm for passenger entertainment.

Q.

What trends are you seeing in the booming Chinese market? Are they going down the wifi route or are they sticking with seatback? JN Within the Chinese market most airlines are either continuing to install overhead IFE systems or are experimenting with wireless to PED IFE systems

seatback vs wifi

and/or internet connectivity. nm Currently we see a very strong trend to explore and trial wireless IFE as well as connectivity in the Chinese domestic market. It looks like Chinese travellers are very open to using their own devices rather than in-seat screens. Similar to other regions in the world, there seems to be a clear and sizable demand for both entertainment and connectivity. The speed of adoption is hard to estimate and will be driven by price as well as some pending regulatory decisions. NS I think it’s fair to say that in most regions, all markets are looking closely at connectivity and we are talking with all the major airlines around the world. The Chinese market is no different. DB Similar to most other geographies, the China airline market is interested in incorporating inflight wifi onto their planes. The expectation for not just connecting with email or text is similar to other markets and true broadband experiences will be in demand at 30,000 feet.

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seatback vs wifi

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

better technology than that available on seatback solutions. Gogo is committed to further developing entertainment products, including Gogo TV. DB Short-haul: more activity in Europe will arise as airlines become more serious about investing and implementing new inflight wifi systems. Mediumhaul: streaming will no longer be a nice to have; it will be a mandatory expectation. Long-haul: New market entrants will excite business models but only those airlines with true broadband internet will be able to capitalise on the experiences and windfall. Seatbacks will be near-obsolete. Dw Consistent with the findings of the APEX passenger survey, we believe “The right mix of that seatback IFE is here paid and free services to stay provided its cost of will be key success ownership base continues to factors for airlines be competitive without loss of capability or growth potential. and their business In the short-haul sector partners alike” What do you there is little time to watch NorbErT MullEr, think the future content whether delivered lufThaNsa sysTEMs holds for iFe by wifi or in-seat systems so in short-, medium- and connectivity will effectively be long-haul travel? the passenger ‘entertainment’. JN For short-haul we'll see significant growth in The medium-haul sector, now more than ever the percentage of aircraft installed with wireless occupied by traditional narrow bodies with longer seatback or wireless to PED IFE systems and a range, is the interesting market expansion area for significant decrease in the number of aircraft with both in-seat and wifi IFE.  overhead IFE or no IFE. For medium-haul we'll see a steady increase in the percentage of aircraft installed with seatback IFE, approaching the current levels of seatback installations for widebody/ long-haul aircraft. Long-haul aircraft will see no significant decline in the percentage of aircraft with seatback IFE but will see wifi augmenting the seatback screen and providing second screen services to boost the passenger experience. Nm In ten to 20 years, all aircraft will be connected. The available bandwidths will constantly increase by a mix of satellite and ground-based solutions. This will give passengers a truly connected experience in the air. Given the bandwidth as well as a robust and flexible wireless onboard platform, a dynamic set of content in all shapes and forms – be it stored, cached or streamed – will be the name of the game. Personalisation as well as the right mix of paid and free services will be key success factors for airlines and partners alike. NS Our IFE business has been built around passengers’ own devices who often have

Q.

Above: digEcor offers the integrated flight experience

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onboard entertainment & connectivity

Connectivity Richard Williams attempts to track a fast-moving tech market

T

he various advantages and disadvantages downtime, and inflight reporting of maintenance of L-band, S-band, Ku, Ka, 2Ku and ATG issues speeds up problem-fixing – again continue to be debated within the IFEC contributing to safety. industry. Perhaps it is fortunate that For operational purposes, speed and reliability are the passenger doesn’t care in the least even more important. how he is connecting to the internet Don Buchman of ViaSat says: “L-band at 35,000 feet, as long as the is a good niche for high reliability: connection is reliable and it has a lower bandwidth, fast enough to do what slightly higher costs and “If the airline he wants to do, whether slower speed, but it is claims cabin it be sending an email much more forgiving connectivity, it or streaming a video. in rain, for example. needs to deliver a However, as we L-band will stay around for reliable service” get used to ever-faster operational purposes, but connections and ever-more not for passenger connectivity data-hungry applications in the purposes.” consumer electronics space, we Leo Mondale, president of come to expect the same in the air. If the Aviation at Inmarsat, agrees: “Our airline claims to have cabin connectivity, it needs recently announced sixth-generation satellites will to deliver a reliable service – or risk the customer feature a dual-payload, with each supporting both being disappointed in what we are now told is a key L-band and Ka-band services. This is unique for aspect of the passenger experience. Inmarsat and confirms our continued commitment Cabin connectivity is one thing, but the other to delivering advanced L-band services for decades side of the coin is cockpit connectivity for safety to come and maximising the growth opportunities and operational communications. Potential flight we see in this spectrum." operational benefits include an Electronic A connected aircraft also benefits the passenger Flight Bag working in real time by enabling and enhancing the use of tablets by to access weather updates, the crew. These are increasingly used to order, track plotting a new course to and take payment for food and beverage, but also enhance safety and save to access and report inventory information in real fuel. Flight tracking is now time. Further advantages are to track passengers’ a legal requirement and the status (on a spectrum from suspicious to awkward connected cockpit can tick to frequent flier card holder), inform about travel that box too. Airlines are and weather disruptions, organise connecting flight also keen to reduce aircraft changes, and facilitate baggage transfers.

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inflight connectivity

Andrew Kemmetmueller, vp of connected aircraft performance and low-cost – claiming it produces services at Gogo, was talking at the most recent more bandwidth for less money. We asked Gogo's APEX show about the relevance of the ‘Internet of Steve Nolan to compare Gogo's 2Ku service with things’ concept to aircraft operations. He said that the Ka-band offerings from ViaSat and Inmarsat's the connected aircraft market would eventually GX Aviation in terms of cost, capacity, reliability and overtake passenger connectivity as the driver for coverage. “We’ve said in regard to 2Ku performance airline programmes. SITAOnAir ceo Ian Dawkins that it will meet or exceed any solution on the agrees: “At maturity, we expect passengers to use market. In terms of economics, we believe it will about a third of the connectivity, with two-thirds have the best economics of any global solution. being used for operational purposes.” In terms of coverage, it is global today – ViaSat is Passengers on a flight that offers connectivity regional, and Inmarsat, from what I understand, isn’t have a right to expect consistent performance over flying yet. the length of the flight, and for the cockpit it is “In terms of reliability, there are a couple of ways essential. However, few services currently provide to look at this – the antenna itself has fewer moving consistent coverage around the world. parts than a traditional gimbaled antenna, which ViaSat recently won the APEX Award for its means a lower opportunity for failure. In addition, it Exede in the Air service, which uses a leverages the Ku satellite network, which has broadband home viewing network hundreds of satellites in orbit. If in the US to provide 12Mbps there is a satellite failure at any to users on an aircraft – level, 2Ku can utilise other claimed to be the fastest satellites. In the Ka band, “At maturity, we inflight connectivity there are only a handful expect passengers available. It is in use by of satellites. There is pure to use about a third JetBlue and United and redundancy in Ku that of the connectivity” scored a PR hit recently supports reliability.” Ian Dawkins, SITAOnAir by streaming Netflix on its Some experts are backing launch on Virgin America’s Air To Ground (ATG) systems flight from San Francisco to to produce the necessary Seattle. Don Buchman of ViaSat increase in bandwidth. Using says: “In five years we will expand our satellite satellites together with ground bases can infrastructure to have global coverage. We already significantly increase the total bandwidth available have a global network through a combination of within an aircraft. It obviously doesn’t work over Ka- and Ku-bands, but it doesn’t give consistent oceans, but it’s likely to become more popular in the service around the world.” future as it is cheaper to build an antenna than to Gogo sells its 2Ku service as a compelling mix of launch a satellite.

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inflight connectivity

onboard entertainment & connectivity

Inmarsat's Mondale said: “We unveiled our others at a mark-up. As a result, we can offer better European Aviation Network (EAN) last year as the value because we are selling our own connectivity first aviation passenger connectivity solution in and continuously innovating to bring the cost of Europe to integrate an advanced S-band satellite provision down.” and a network of approximately 300 LTE-based Inmarsat appears at last on the verge of offering ground sites, the latter of which will be operated a global, seamless, high-speed broadband service. by Deutsche Telekom. Aircraft will switch It will support inflight connectivity on commercial automatically between satellite and aircraft as soon as it has achieved certification terrestrial connectivity for optimal of the necessary terminal units and service delivery. antennas, made by Honeywell. “As a result, airlines can Mondale: “We expect “We own our offer reliable, high-speed to launch a fourth GX network…we are onboard internet access satellite in the second not buying capacity to passengers across half of 2016 to provide from others at a Europe’s high-traffic additional capacity flight paths. We can where required. This will mark-up” support hundreds of aircraft be followed by an S-band Leo Mondale, Inmarsat with high-quality broadband satellite for our European even during peak hours in busy Aviation Network (EAN) from traffic areas. In terms of serving the Thales Alenia Space.” European airline industry, no other alternative A further complication when talking technology can come close to this. Lufthansa will about connectivity is the type of beam supplied take part in a flight trial programme of the new by the satellite or ground base. Intelsat launched European Aviation Network from 2017 onwards.” 29e in January, its first ‘Epic’ High Throughput This news follows on the successful launch last Satellite (HTS). This has spot beam coverage that year of the third of its three-satellite Ka-band is considered superior for the transmission of data constellation called Global Xpress (GX). Mondale to the broadbeam coverage currently used by a adds: “With GX, our technology choices mean we number of airlines flying over the Atlantic. The spot will have the best consistently high-speed, reliable beams on 29e are overlaid by a wide beam that broadband service in the business. We own our supports the transmission of live broadcast TV. network, giving us the flexibility to be the most Intelsat 29e will deliver high-speed broadband to cost effective. We are not buying capacity from aircraft equipped for Ku- and Ka-band connectivity flying over the North Atlantic. A second satellite called Intelsat 33e is scheduled for launch this August, and is intended to provide service to the rest of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Asia. Satellite operator SES is following down the HTS route with a planned Ku HTS launch in 2017. Both Panasonic and Gogo have signed up for spot-beam and wide-beam capacity on SES-14 and SES-15. Whatever the future holds, the demand for bandwidth and coverage is on the up. This industry is booming, and the race for market share will continue to drive technology. What is comforting is that the passenger experience on a connected aircraft is finally starting to live up to the hype. 

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onboardhospitality.com


onboard entertainment & connectivity

Improve your passenger experience As passenger needs evolve, so do their expectations of what an airline should deliver. Through SITAONAIR’s connected services, we help airlines innovate to meet these changing needs by providing the best possible end-to-end air travel experience for passengers. Getting this right will lead to growth in customer satisfaction and loyalty.

2016

Internet Onair

Mobile Onair

Onair Play

Visit us at AIX 2016 on stand 4B30 to find out more. www.sitaonair.aero


inflight telephony

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

“I'm on the plane...” Kevin Rogers of AeroMobile picks up an inflight call from Richard Williams

KEVIN ROGERS ceo of AeroMobile

Mobile data and SMS were the most popular services with a 110 per cent and 38 per cent year-onyear increase respectively in 2015

HOW DOES AEROMOBILE DIFFER FROM OTHER AIRLINE CONNECTIVITY SUPPLIERS? AeroMobile is a registered mobile network operator for the aviation industry. We operate a mobile network for airline passengers to roam inflight, allowing them to use their phone just as they would on the ground. We have over 320 roaming agreements in more than 140 countries and, in 2015, became the world’s first connectivity supplier to provide an inflight 3G service. WHAT PERCENTAGE OF THE IFEC TELEPHONY MARKET DO YOU CURRENTLY HAVE? Mobile phone connectivity is still a small part of the IFEC market, although it is certainly growing. AeroMobile now has 16 commercial airline partners and the number of connected aircraft increased by 45 per cent in 2015. Last year, we saw an average of over 600 flights per day, which was a 40 per cent increase on 2014. COULD YOU GIVE ME AN UPDATE ON HOW MUCH OF YOUR MARKET IS LINEFIT AND HOW MUCH RETROFIT? The AeroMobile service is available for installation at both the point of manufacture (line-fit) or on aircraft already in service (retro-fit), on both Airbus and Boeing. The AeroMobile service has been approved for linefit on Boeing 777, 747 and 737 and Airbus A350 and A380. The service

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ONBOARDHOSPITALITY.COM

has certifications for retro-fit on Boeing 777, 747, 737, Airbus A330 and A340. In February 2015, we completed our first-ever line-fit installation on an A380, for Etihad Airways. Increasingly, aircraft are being delivered from the Airbus and Boeing factories with the phone service already installed. We have just launched our service with SWISS, installing the inflight network onboard one of their new B777-300 aircraft. The service will be available on worldwide destinations including Hong Kong, Los Angeles and San Francisco. COULD YOU GIVE SOME EXAMPLES OF AIRLINES RETROFITTING THEIR FLEETS WITH AEROMOBILE? Many of our airline partners, including Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, Virgin Atlantic and Emirates, have retro-fitted part of their fleet with the AeroMobile network, and airlines are continuing to do so all the time.    WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE OF YOUR NEW 3G SERVICE? Our new 3G service, which we facilitated in partnership with Panasonic Avionics and launched with airberlin in December 2015, provides a substantial increase in data speeds, faster browsing,


ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

inflight telephony

With more leisure travellers using our service, we predict the popularity of our inflight mobile network will continue to grow WHAT ARE THE TRENDS IN THE BOOMING CHINESE MARKET? ARE THEY GOING DOWN THE WIFI AND TELEPHONY ROUTE? We expect China to become a significant market for the AeroMobile service in the coming years. However, there are currently regulatory restrictions in China which we expect to be addressed in due course.  Chinese subscribers want to use the service and are frequent travellers on our equipped airlines.

bigger attachments, quicker posts, more responsive apps and gaming. This service enables a quality and range of services much closer to those experienced on the ground, ensuring a better connected cabin experience for passengers. WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR EXPANDING WORLDWIDE? AeroMobile is seeing an ever-increasing number of travellers demanding inflight connectivity as more people are now realising the benefits of being able to text, tweet or call inflight. In response to this demand, more and more airlines across the world are taking up AeroMobile’s service. AeroMobile already operates on airlines in Europe, Middle East, and Asia. In 2016 we will be increasing our European fleet and continuing to expand roaming agreements across the globe. Historically, AeroMobile was used mainly by business passengers; however, we have seen a notable trend in our services being used on leisure routes, such as Orlando and the Caribbean. With more leisure travellers using our service, we predict the popularity of our inflight mobile network will continue to grow.

COULD YOU LOOK INTO YOUR CRYSTAL BALL AND PREDICT THE FUTURE OF IFEC FOR SHORT-, MEDIUMAND LONG-HAUL? The Mobile service is now gaining mainstream popularity: we’re seeing that inflight mobile services have, in many cases, become fully integrated with the cabin experience. As a result, we expect inflight connectivity will become a mainstream proposition for both business and leisure travellers in 2016. Typically, passengers take one or more PEDs onboard and it is important for airlines to offer the choice so passengers can consume content their way.    HAVE YOU SPOTTED ANY OTHER INTERESTING TRENDS IN THE IFEC SPACE? It’s interesting to see how passengers use the service. Mobile data and SMS were the most popular services used by customers in 2015 with a 110 per cent and 38 per cent year-on-year increase respectively. We believe this appeal will remain strong, with usage continuing to increase. aeromobile.net

ONBOARDHOSPITALITY.COM

With 320 roaming agreements in more than 140 countries, AeroMobile is also the world’s first connectivity supplier to provide an inflight 3G service

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interview

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

Iztok Franko

IT AND MARKETING DIRECTOR, ADRIA AIRWAYS

Richard Williams poses questions about OnAir and the AirFi Box

ADRIA AIRWAYS, Slovenia's largest airline, has used an innovative wifi product to integrate its website and inflight magazine into an onboard entertainment solution for passengers to browse on their smartphones and tablets. The airline has expanded, rebranded and transformed its traditional paper inflight magazine to create OnAir Magazine and OnAir Entertainment. These twin content platforms are available on the airline’s website and onboard its aircraft. Editorial from the inflight magazine has been reformatted on the website

Q. What level of IFEC are you now offering customers? A. We offer our new OnAir Entertainment portal, which is basically a wifi content streaming portal, based on the concept of bring your own device (BYOD). The OnAir Entertainment portal offers information about your flight and the destination you are flying to. You can also browse the OnAir Magazine, with a range of content on destinations, aviation, food, people, entertainment, travel tips, and so on. In the future we will be updating the OnAir Magazine regularly with articles and other content.

We have already managed to reduce content management costs and to establish revenue generating proccesses into stories aimed at inspiring people to explore Slovenia and destinations beyond. On Adria’s fleet of 11 aircraft, OnAir Entertainment replicates and expands upon the website concept. It uses lightweight boxes from AirFi, which are powerful server/wireless access points that require no certification to install. Adria streams magazine content, flight information, shopping catalogues, destination videos, menus, HTML5 games, chat functions and newspapers directly to passenger’s own mobile devices.

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The portal also includes games for children and adults, and a Chat function for all passengers. Since we believe that the best way to improve our services is through dialogue with our customers, we invite them to share their experiences with us by filling in our passenger satisfaction survey.

Q. How do you access the service? A. You no longer have to stare into space during the flight! Now you can pass the time using your own smartphone or tablet. Although your device must remain in

ONBOARDHOSPITALITY.COM

‘flight mode’, you can now use a wireless connection to access the service while we are in the air. Simply switch your device to ‘flight mode’, enable your wireless connection (wifi), connect to the Adria OnAir wifi network, and open your browser.

Q. How did you come to decide on this level of offering? A. We evaluated solutions suitable for our travel product, which is short flights within Europe and a fleet of mostly regional CRJ900/700 aircraft. We looked for innovative solutions that would enhance the customer experience without huge investments in equipment and fleet. Q. Explain the process for determining which supplier to use? A. Based on our requirements and the need to consolidate content management processes, we selected the innovative and flexible AirFi solution. This platform enables us to manage and integrate the content provided in-flight with our other content processes and platforms, for example the paper OnAir inflight magazine, the OnAir Magazine web portal, and social media. With this solution we managed to develop and roll-out the new OnAir Entertainment service in less than six months. The AirFi solution is provided both as hardware and as a service.

Q. Is IFEC a profit centre for you? A. We are in the process of establishing this. However, we have already managed to reduce content management costs and


interview

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

Based on our requirements, we selected the innovative and flexible AirFi solution to establish revenue generating processes such as advertising, support for inflight sales, and greater sign-up for our email and loyalty programmes.

Q. Do you have any plans to upgrade the airline's IFEC? A. We see the upgrades and developments on two fronts: first, our own developments of new features and functionalities based on the current platform. We want to add and develop more content, more personalisation and interaction, and increase the frequency of distribution of new content. Secondly, we want to include the developments currently being planned by our platform provider. These are mostly based around connectivity for passenger usage, such as messaging and social media. Q. How do you see the future of IFEC for Adria Airways? A. We see our passengers using more devices, wanting more connectivity and using them on the aircraft during our flights. At the same time, we need to be flexible and enhance our passengers' travel experience with Adria. adria.si; airfibox.com

PROFILE: Iztok Franko

Iztok, who joined Adria Airways in 2008, manages marketing and e-commerce activities. He has achieved double-digit growth in e-commerce sales for three consecutive years.

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film review

ONBOARD ENTERTAINMENT & CONNECTIVITY

Content is often what differentiates one airline from another ...how good are your films? NICK FREAND JONES, FILM INDUSTRY EXPERT, REVIEWS THREE POPULAR RELEASES

The Revenant

AGE RATING: 15 A gruelling and visceral adaptation of the true story of Hugh Glass – a 19th-century fur trapper in North America - The Revenant sees DiCaprio play the frontiersman on a mission. Director Alejandro Inarritu, whose Birdman was a big Oscar winner last year, shows us this brutal, unforgiving world in a unique and often startling light. The actors, including Tom Hardy as DiCaprio’s nemesis John Fitzgerald, were clearly taken to genuine extremes. The Revenant is not always a comfortable experience but it will give you one of the cinematic rides of your life. 22

Room

AGE RATING: 15 From the great outdoors to the great indoors – this mesmerising adaptation of the best-selling novel by Irish writer Emma Donoghue stars Brie Larson with an outstanding performance as the mother who spends seven-years bringing up her child imprisoned in a single room. However, this is no Fritzlinspired horror story but a moving and uplifting tale of love and survival. Jacob Tremblay is extraordinary as the young boy whose formative years are spent in a confined space where every mundane household object has a special role and significance. ONBOARDHOSPITALITY.COM

The Big Short

AGE RATING: 15 Adapted from Michael Lewis’ book, this dazzling and often very funny dissection of the events leading up to the housing and credit crisis of 2005 is one of the most surprising films of the year. The film follows a handful of people who had the good luck or brilliance to foresee the crash coming and gamble on the outcome. Director Adam MacKay is best known for wacky comedies like Anchorman but here he takes a potentially dry subject and turns it into a bizarrely comic roller-coaster ride. Be warned - if you’ve forgiven the banks for what happened, this film might reignite your anger....


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The catalyst for advancing aviation While others are focused solely on the needs of your passengers, we’re focused on your entire business. We’re innovating new solutions to connect every aspect of airline operations – from passengers and crews, to maintenance teams and aircraft systems. That’s what you can expect when you partner with Gogo.

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Profile for BMI Publishing Ltd

Onboard Entertainment & Connectivity March 2016  

Onboard Hospitality Magazine's Entertainment And Connectivity Supplement. This Edition: Seatback v Wifii • Inflight telephony • Inflight con...

Onboard Entertainment & Connectivity March 2016  

Onboard Hospitality Magazine's Entertainment And Connectivity Supplement. This Edition: Seatback v Wifii • Inflight telephony • Inflight con...