A completely new approach to content services provisioning characterizes the BoardConnect Media Services offered by Lufthansa Systems in collaboration with Touch Inflight Solutions Inc. (Touch). Since the two companies began cooperating closely just over a year ago, their product has been successfully installed on more than 100 aircraft of commercial airlines – including Eurowings, Austrian Airlines and Azul Linhas Aereas.
Although demand for an Internet connection is rising when it comes to onboard entertainment, current bandwidth is not yet sufficient to enable all passengers to stream content simultaneously. “While we expect connectivity to increase further and prices to drop in the next three to five years, bandwidth in the air will not be comparable to normal bandwidth on the ground even then,” said Michael Childers, Chief Consultant Content and Media Services at Lufthansa Systems. “That’s why providing airlines with a content offering stored on local servers on board the aircraft and streamed via a local WiFi network is a reliable and sustainable option that can also be combined with future Internet services. Our wireless BoardConnect in-flight entertainment (IFE) solution enables us to offer our customers exactly that.”
Unlike some other IFE providers, Lufthansa Systems and Touch have adopted an integrated approach to in-flight entertainment. Rather than seeing the content and system-based components as separate entities, they directly consider the technological possibilities of the IFEC system when determining which content the product should include. The infrastructure, design and selection of content maximizes the system’s performance. What’s more, new content should be available even faster than ever. By using cloud technology and eDelivery, it makes it possible to place new content on the platform extremely fast, quickly taking Lufthansa Systems and Touch from the industry’s 90 days window to a mere fraction of this Period.
“When we design the infrastructure components for the content, we have to be aware of the technical capabilities of the passengers’ current smartphones and tablets. Only then can we do everything we can to offer them a passenger experience that gets the best out of their devices,” said Joe Carreira, Managing Director of Touch Inflight Solutions. “We are working closely with Lufthansa Systems in this context. Our aim is to create solutions customized to fit the individual requirements of airlines and their passengers.”
The individual content on offer ranges from global and regional films and TV series, branded and web content, music, magazines as well as airport guides and destination content. When it comes to offering Hollywood movies, Lufthansa Systems and Touch Inflight Solutions have a direct, close and long-term working relationship with the film studios.
In addition to its core target group of commercial airlines, Lufthansa Systems and Touch are also aiming their product at business jets and VIP fleets, and are working closely with Group subsidiary Lufthansa Technik and their joint venture IDAIR in this area, with first successful deliveries already having been made.
BoardConnect enables passengers to use streaming technology during a flight to access an airline’s entertainment program on their own devices. The product suite includes three hardware versions: the permanently installed classic BoardConnect solution, the flexible BoardConnect Portable version and the BoardConnect Plus connectivity solution. All products work in perfect harmony with each other and can be acquired separately or in combination. BoardConnect is already running on a total of nearly 400 aircraft, and another 300 will follow in the next twelve months.
About Touch Inflight Solutions
Touch Inflight Solutions Inc. (Touch) is a leading content service provider (CSP) for the transportation industry specializing in the design and curation of global, regional and branded content solutions. Touch, supported by a team of former airline and entertainment professionals and by respected and nurtured global and multi-platform industry relationships, delivers its customized services to customers in Europe, Africa, Middle East and the Americas. For further information please contact Joe Carreira at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Established in April 2011, IDAIR is a joint venture between Lufthansa Technik AG and Panasonic Avionics Corporation, headquartered in Hamburg, Germany. IDAIR develops, manufactures and supplies In-flight Entertainment, Communications and Cabin Management Systems for VIP aircraft as well as custom products for commercial airlines.
About Lufthansa Systems
Lufthansa Systems GmbH & Co. KG is a leading airline IT provider. Based on long-term project experience, a deep understanding of complex business processes and strong technological know-how, the company provides consulting and IT services for the global aviation industry. Over 300 airlines worldwide rely on the know-how of IT specialists at Lufthansa Systems. Its portfolio covers innovative IT products and services which provide added value for its customers in terms of enhanced efficiency, reduced costs or increased profits. Headquartered in Raunheim near Frankfurt/Main, Germany, Lufthansa Systems has offices in 16 other countries.