APEX: Kontron snags major European airline for IFEC

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Embedded computing technology specialist Kontron has today announced the signing of a new contract to supply inflight entertainment and connectivity to an unnamed European airline. The company states that it is a major airline, specializing in leisure and charter travel.

Kontron will deploy IFEC fleet-wide by summer 2020. Photo: Kontron

Kontron says that the installation of its solution will be applied to more than 100 Boeing aircraft. This fleet-wide deployment is to be completed in time for the 2020 spring and summer schedule.

According to its press release, Kontron sees plenty of potential to secure similar customers in the future. Andy Mason, general manager of global avionics at Kontron America commented in a press release,

“We anticipate fast growth for this leisure market segment across EMEA, which includes large aircraft fleets that are not yet wi-fi or connectivity-enabled.”

Jon Moseley, Head of Avionics Business Development for EMEA at Kontron Europe added,

“As airline customers increasingly demand additional services such as wireless IFE and inflight connectivity, we are seeing more commercial carriers accelerate their roll-out plans.”

The deal

It seems Kontron has struck a deal to supply flight hardware for both IFE and IFEC systems with the undisclosed airline. The company will provide its ACE Flight 4608 high-performance avionics server, Cab-n-Connect™ A100 Cabin Wireless Access Point (CWAP) and ACE Flight™ Removable Storage Drives (RSSDs) to the airline customer.

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Ace Flight 4608
The Ace Flight 4608 server. Photo: Kontron

This, they say, follows a successful proof of concept that took place this year. The system will enable the airline to provide wireless IFE, including video streaming on-demand, live TV, games and other entertainment. According to Kontron, the client will also be able to add on services and applications in the future to further enhance the customer experience.

Get Connected reached out to Kontron for more information on this deal, but had not received a response by the time of publication.

The Kontron system

Kontron first launched its open source platform including its ACE Flight 4600 Serve and Cab-n-Connect WAP back in 2011. The idea behind the products was to streamline the deployment of IFE on aircraft, making it quicker and easier for airlines to adopt a wireless IFEC solution.

Since then, both the WAP and server have been installed on a multitude of top airlines, including Lufthansa, Virgin Australia and Turkish low cost airline Pegasus.

The ACE Flight 4608 server uses the Intel Xeon processor, running at 1.6Ghz, and includes 32GB of DDR4 memory alongside 1.6TB of SSD storage. It offers support for extensive bandwidth, with a dual 4G/LTE modem for global access.

Cab n connect
The Cab-n-Connect WAP. Photo: Kontron

Also being supplied is the Cab-n-Connect A100 cabin WAP, which Kontron described as providing “Best-In-Class performance” for dense aircraft environments. The A100 uses 802.11ac technology, a step up from 802.11n, and Kontron claims this delivers up to four times the bandwidth through 3×3 MIMO technology.

Kontron says that its hardware is already installed on more than 4,500 commercial and business jets worldwide. The company is showcasing its hardware platforms, software and services at the APEX Expo at booth 1647.

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