At Aircraft Interiors Expo 2014, Lufthansa Technik unveiled a wireless access point (WAP) that 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. The company says this technology will enable transfer speeds of 1.3 Gigabits per second (Gbps). And because the antennae are fully integrated for the first time, rather than having physically separate WAP and antenna hardware, the router offers simple installation, maintenance and exchangeability.
“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,” explained Dr Jan Remmer ter Haseborg, the development engineer in charge of the new product. “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 BoardConnect, which will be available initially on 20 of the German carrier’s Airbus A321 aircraft from the spring of 2014. To use the service, passengers connect to the on-board infotainment server by WLAN via their own laptop, tablet or smartphone – using the Lufthansa Technik WAP.