A Mixed Flight Bag!

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IFExpress is probably never going to get caught up from the AIX fun in Hamburg but don’t tell us we didn’t try. Here is a news release from the then portable IFE supplier digEcor (with some 13,000 L7 portables sold) – who now has an installed IFE system called GLIDE. Here is their release: “Inflight entertainment leader digEcor, Inc. is excited to announce the recent signing of a deal to deliver their all new embedded inflight entertainment system, dubbed GLIDE IFE, to US charter carrier Air Transport International (ATI). Slated to launch on ATI’s fleet of Boeing 757 passenger-freighter Combi aircraft, digEcor is also providing an exciting lineup of digital entertainment options including Hollywood blockbusters and classics, the latest music and videos, and a suite of entertaining games. “We are excited to be the launch partner with digEcor and be the first to have the GLIDE IFE system,” said ATI President Dennis Manibusan. “We shopped around for an embedded system, and the GLIDE IFE system met all of our immediate needs in terms of cost, reliability, unctionality and providing a high level of passenger entertainment.” DigEcor’s Sales and Marketing Director Ben Fuller commented, “We’re more commonly known in the IFE industry as the portable provider and we’re thrilled to show our continued product diversity with our embedded GLIDE IFE. We’re honored to have ATI as our launch partner and we’re committed to their success moving forward.”For more information on GLIDE IFE or content services provided by digEcor, visit us online at www.digEcor.com.” We note that Ben told IFExpress that, “We finally found the right partner,” and we have it on authority that they have had a loot meetings with an Australian company. Here is a three seat group and a system block diagram. The digEcor folks told IFExpress that their progression from portable to imbedded was a logical growth step which is a path others have followed. In their case, the system looses a battery and docking station and inserts a Konotron server and WAP for the streaming solution. We note that they have an optional SSD memory and they tell us that more, bigger screen sizes are coming. The company is targeting the regional air line market, one that has a lot of growth potential. Said Ben, “We want to be a complete customer service provider.” That about says it all.

Meet Kevin Rogers, AeroMoblle’s new CEO. He has been with the company for 5 years but was originally from Telenor in the Regulations and Roaming business. If you remember, Telenor is based in Norway but Kevin is now back in the UK and we hear Pal Bjordal is going back to Norway. Kevin told IFExpress that the AeroMobile focus is to get more telephony on aircraft as the demand for voice, text (and email, for that matter) is booming. If you remember, AeroMobile is part of the Panasonic Global Communications Suite – AeroMobile provides the mobile phone part (biggest demand) while Panasonic builds the hardware for their platform residence. It makes sense because this way, Panasonic can provide the total solution – they provide the Wi-Fi and AeroMobile the phone. With phones, the billing and usage are clean and clearly understood, after all, inflight phone charges go directly to you phone bill – no airline collections, not to mention the lack of onboard hassle. No wonder everybody likes existing billing systems! “The airlines really have a choice as do the passengers,”noted Rogers, “as the phone solution provides a pretty low bandwidth solution, and if they want to use Facebook on their iPads or laptops, Wi-fi is also available.” The airlines want the passenger to have options and they offer both, and by in large, they install GSM and Wi-Fi.” Mr. Rogers also made it quite clear that the full connectivity solution, Wi-Fi, is fine for tho data geeks but the mobile phone user has voice, text and light Internet data so if you only have a mobile phone, connectivity is within the passenger’s reach. Kevin also pointed out that data roaming prices are coming down and he expects that it will reach the point whereby it is not considered a “premium service”. Certainly, IFExpress see’s the value of competition here and the tremendous traffic growth seen might be some indication of that fact. Further, they have launched a new website that now features B-to-C focus differing from the previous one that was more B-to-B. At the show AeroMobile announced a new Aer Lingus contract and Kevin expects five new customers this year with total airplane installations doubling.

If you are a fan of real-time, airline, flight tracking radars, we have a couple links for your viewing enjoyment: flightradar24 and radarbox24. Both websites place aircraft flights superimposed over your favorite location – US and Europe are amazing. China, on the other hand, looks devoid of air traffic but we know that is not true. We would like to hear from an air traffic genius as to why that is? We will let you know what we hear.

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