Above: Eurowings’ Wings Entertain IFE system is based on BoardConnect Portable and enables passengers to enjoy a broad range of entertainment on their own smartphones and tablets. Photo: Manfred Nerlich
August 3, 2016 – Lufthansa Systems has completed what it claims is the “biggest go-live of a portable IFE solution for a well-known airline to date”. More than 70 aircraft – nearly the entire Eurowings A320 fleet – were equipped with the company’s BoardConnect Portable system over the course of a weekend, with the remaining aircraft to follow by the middle of the month.
All the technical components needed for an IFE system – such as a server and access points – are combined in a single device called a Mobile Streaming Unit (MSU) in the BoardConnect Portable system. An MSU is about the size of a conventional tablet, weighs less than 1.5kg and can easily be brought on board during regular flight operations.
Since they do not require elaborate cabling, MSUs qualify as non-permanently installed equipment and can be mounted or removed, for example in the galley or in overhead compartments, without affecting other components in the aircraft. This eliminates high costs for hardware, fitting and certification, and enables the system to be transferred immediately for further use in leased aircraft. An integrated LTE modem allows rapid wireless updates of content while the aircraft is on the ground.
“BoardConnect Portable was unveiled in the fall of 2015, and right from the start there was great interest, particularly from niche airlines with smaller fleets,” stated Olivier Krüger, CEO of Lufthansa Systems. “But the flexible use and reliability of the application won over other, larger airlines as well. We are proud that we were able to gain a customer like Eurowings in such a short period of time and install Portable so quickly on the entire fleet.”