As digitization continues pervading the passenger experience, flight operations and aircraft systems, inflight connectivity has to meet demands that are increasingly sophisticated. Aside of step-change improvements in performance and cost compared with current systems, the flexibility to support use cases beyond passenger entertainment is becoming equally important. Meeting these demands requires evolving from bespoke systems to an open network architecture that is based on proven IT and telecommunications principles.
To facilitate this evolution, SkyFive and FTI have teamed up to deliver a software-defined network service that can integrate various inflight connectivity systems: Air to Ground (A2G) networks, satellite services, and public and private 4G/5G airport networks. The service steers data flows based on their individual performance, availability, and cost per bit requirements. For bulk passenger data it could rely on A2G coverage in dense continental airspaces and switch to a satellite service on oceanic routes. For mission-critical traffic, it could leverage several systems in parallel to achieve an extremely high degree of reliability.
Cloud-based management and automation allows for quick reconfiguration of the network service for new applications, without having to touch the aircraft. Onboard, the fully virtualized software runs on servers of various kinds, such that broadband Internet can also be added to existing IFEC systems. The new network service allows airlines to bring the fleet online in an agile, future-proof, and cost-efficient manner, and create new value with broadband connectivity in the cabin and beyond.
— CTO of SkyFive
Following our open standards-based A2G solution, we continue pushing scalable, flexible, and cost-efficient architectures and technologies from the IT and telecommunications industry towards the aviation sector. This new software-defined network service will assure that airlines receive the highest data throughput and lowest cost per bit also in hybrid configurations of A2G and satellite systems.”
— CEO of FTI Engineering Network
Mission critical solutions that enable digitization have always been key elements of our business strategy and our product and service portfolio during the past 20 years. As a company of the Peiker family, we also benefit from 75 years of non-stop innovation in communication solutions. These elements form a perfect DNA to team up with SkyFive and bring inflight connectivity to new heights.
SkyFive provides Inflight Connectivity services based on its unique Air-to-Ground technology. The company’s mission is to deliver true broadband services to airline passengers, enable the real-time transfer of vast amounts of aircraft data, and support ultra-reliable low latency communications required for the mass proliferation of Urban Air Mobility. SkyFive connects aircraft of any kind and size through giant cells in the sky, thereby leveraging the performance and cost benefits of the 4G and 5G mobile ecosystem. Learn more at www.skyfive.world.
About FTI Engineering Network
FTI Engineering Network is a supplier of mission-critical hardware and software for leading OEMs, MROs, and airlines, including Airbus, Lufthansa Technik, Emirates, and many others. For more than 20 years our customers have been relying on FTI´s video, sensor, and connectivity solutions, which make flying safer and more efficient. FTI holds Design and Production Organization Approvals and provides turnkey STCs for the integration of VIP interior and a wide range of equipment for business and mission type aircraft, too. FTI Engineering Network is a company of the Peiker family. Learn more at www.ftigroup.net
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