Stressed WLAN users on the ground would be only too happy to have a connection this fast and simple! Lufthansa Technik AG is unveiling a brand-new wireless access point (WAP) at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg that already supports Very High Throughput (VHT) to IEEE 802.11ac - the next-generation Wi-Fi standard that is not yet widely used on the ground - in the aircraft. This will enable transfer speeds of 1.3 Gigabits per second (Gbps). Moreover, because the antennae are fully integrated for the first time, the router is setting new standards when it comes to ultra-simple installation, maintenance and exchangeability.
In the past, because the WAP and the associated antenna hardware were physically separate, both installation and maintenance were problematic. Either cable runs had to be found or else a lot of space had to be created for antennae that protruded far out of the equipment. By contrast, the new WAP developed by Lufthansa Technik's Original Equipment Innovation department can be installed as an integrated unit. From video to Internet, games, communications or airline-specific content, the new WAP allows all applications in parallel.
"As with all our in-house developed products, we are able to draw not only on technical expertise but also extensive experience of flying operations. Our objective is to create a product, using the latest technologies, that is as simple, quick and uncomplicated to handle in the everyday routine of our airline customers as possible," says Dr. Jan Remmer ter Haseborg, the development engineer in charge of the new product at Lufthansa Technik. "To be able to offer an appropriately qualified aircraft component in parallel to the market launch of a new Wi-Fi standard in the consumer industry was of critical importance to this development." The product is based on technology from Aruba Networks.
Passengers will be able to put the new high-speed access to use from this summer. The WAP is part of Lufthansa's BordConnect which will be available initially on 20 of the German carrier's Airbus A321 aircraft from the spring of 2014. As a result, Lufthansa will soon be offering its passengers an extensive range of Hollywood films, television series, music, games and information. To use the service, passengers will just have to connect to the on-board infotainment server by WLAN via their own laptop, tablet or smartphone - using the Lufthansa Technik WAP.
For anyone who can't wait until then, Dr. Jan Remmer ter Haseborg will be attending Aircraft Interiors Expo from 8 to 10 April, where he can be found - along with the WAP - at the Lufthansa Technik stand in Hall 6, Stand 6B60.