Global Eagle Entertainment launched today at the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg a new wireless IFE product targeted at airlines that have not yet installed connectivity but are seeking a low-cost, hassle-free entertainment solution.
Entice is designed for use on passengers’ own personal electronic devices and boasts 10,000 hours of movie and TV content, a personalised user interface and a monthly single charge that does not require any investment in hardware.
The product is aimed at low-cost carriers and the regional arms of flagship airlines, which are hesitant to install costly embedded IFE systems and connectivity, says senior vice-president digital media solutions Alexis Steinman.
Passengers connect to Entice through their laptops, tablets or smartphones and identify themselves, meaning their viewing history and preferences are stored to allow for a more personalised experience.
The product can be used in an offline mode but features an “easy upgrade path” for airlines that later decide to install in-flight connectivity.
The company believes it is in a strong position to help airlines use their connected aircraft to take advantage of a range of cost-saving operational efficiency opportunities. It launched its Operations Solutions division in August, following the acquisitions of cockpit integration and electronic flight bag (EFB) solutions provider navAero and data solutions provider masFlight.
Joshua Marks, senior vice-president of the new unit, said: “We’ve started rolling out solutions on how to bring operational benefits for airlines.”
Marks divides operational benefits available to airlines through in-flight connectivity into three categories. The first is the ability to send real-time information to the ground on where the aircraft is and how it is performing.
Secondly, is the ability to re-book passengers on to different connecting flights in the event of disruptions while they are in the air can also result in time and cost savings. The third area, and the one that Marks says offers “the real return-on-investment” opportunity, is the ability to use the “treasure trove of data” gathered during a flight for future analytics.
Global Eagle recently announced that its Airconnect Global antenna will be compatible with both Ku- and Ka-band satellite-based services. “We have to be platform-neutral,” says Marks, adding that the company works “on different bands to do what’s right for the airline”.
He describes Ku-band as being the company’s “bread and butter” but acknowledges that “it’s our job to provide the right antenna” to enable airlines to make “the right decision, based on their location” and requirements.
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Source: Flight Daily News