Telefonix PDT:

Telefonix, Inc. has been involved in the inflight entertainment industry for more than 25 years. Several years ago, the company entered into a partnership with Product Development Technologies (PDT), which eventually led to an ownership stake in the premier product design and development firm. Since then, the company has developed a division within Telefonix, called Telefonix PDT, that is completely focused on developing What’s Next in the inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) industry, both by creating building block technology platforms and by serving as a design, development and manufacturing partner to industry leading IFEC companies.

Telefonix was founded on the strength of its retractable cabling technology. You remember the initial inflight telephone handset retraction mechanisms for Airfone that have evolved over the years and are an integral part of most passenger control units flying today? But with over 60 patents issued to date, and a highly skilled team comprised of experts in user research and design, mechanical and electrical engineering, software development, documentation and certification, prototyping and manufacturing, Telefonix PDT has built a unique, full-service offering for IFEC manufacturers who are creating new or next-gen solutions.

With several years of custom LRU development, the company has been able to leverage its IFEC industry knowledge to anticipate market needs and bring forth product platforms that reduce time to market and offer competitive custom solutions for customers.

Last year at AIX, Telefonix PDT launched their Summit IFEC product platform, and this year they have expanded that offering. The Summit product line was a natural evolution of their traditional custom design service offering. The product line was developed as a set of system building blocks that can be leveraged as designed or be customized as a part of any customer program. The big advantage to the Summit product line is that Telefonix PDT is providing innovative new technology platforms that are easy to install and upgrade. With the company’s announcement that an STC program is currently underway for several Summit line components, cost and time to market, which are always key program considerations, can be minimized by leveraging the Summit components in an IFEC system. Overall, the Summit product line is one built upon leading edge technology and designed to allow customers to upgrade more easily and with less certification implications than legacy hardware. Beyond the hardware itself, Telefonix PDT is committed to continuing technology evolution and providing ongoing product support for their customers. The company has a long and proven record of customer support and this customer focus has not changed as the company has grown and evolved.

When it was launched in 2015, the Summit Line included:

  • CabinACe Wireless Access Points
  • CabinPinnacle (server)
  • CabinVista (cabin control panel)
  • and CabinPeak (Pico Cell)

This year, at AIX 2016 Telefonix PDT added the CabinEdge content loader to the Summit product line, as well as introduced the Encompass all-in-one server product.

The CabinEdge product is a stand-alone content loader that supports network delivery of IFE content. It is designed to be permanently mounted within the aircraft cabin in a convenient location to facilitate loading and management of IFE content. The CabinEdge unit is a small form factor, low-cost product that utilizes commercially available USB ‘thumb drives’ as the content transfer medium. The unit loads digitally stored, encrypted content in the background and features a keyed tumbler lock for security. Some of the CabinEdge product features are:

  • NXP i.MX6, 1 GHz Quad Core, ARM CORTEX A9 processor
  • Front Panel I/O (Behind Door) Content Loading 4x USB and Serial console Micro-USB
  • Rear Panel I/O LAN RJ-45 Gigabit Ethernet 28 VDC Power (4-pin Header)
  • Content Security is a Keyed Cam Lock for Front Access Door
  • Indicators are 2 LEDs for LAN Activity and Power
  • Input Power is 28 VDC or PoE per 802.3af (< 10W)
  • A Linux Operating System
  • U-Boot Boot Loader for Embedded BIOS
  • Wall Mounting Bracket with No Exposed Wires or Connectors
  • Operating Temperature of of -15° C to + 55°C
  • And dimension of 6.00” (L) x 5.72: (W) x 1.32” (H) and a weight of less than 2 pounds.

This is the latest edition to the Summit Line.

Telefonix PDT also unveiled the Encompass all-in-one server, which is a small form factor, portable wireless server that can be leveraged by customers to create a standalone IFE system. This low-cost system is designed to meet the requirements of short term aircraft trials and long term IFE solution needs. The unit is capable of multi-user media streaming of audio, video-on-demand, and digital magazine content. The Encompass unit also provides data analytics on customer usage and trends. The product’s small form factor and weight make it ideal for overhead storage bins. It also features 12 hours of continuous battery operation, and is an open source solution that is easy to operate and customize. High capacity SSD storage ensures ample content for streaming to passenger devices. One of its primary advantages is there are no certification requirements of a traditional embedded solution, minimizing costs to the operator.

Some of the Encompass product features are:

  • Content Streaming – multi-user, streaming audio, video-on-demand
  • Open source software that is easily customizable; 12 hours of continuous battery operation
  • Small form factor design [10”(L) x 6.1” (W) x 6.4” (H)]; weighs 7.3 lbs; modern 802.11AC with dual radio (2.4GHz/5GHz ) access points
  • 1 TB solid state drive
  • LED indicators for operational status panel
  • Interface ports, including 6 GBit Ethernet and USB for content loading; and maintenance access via processor/access point serial ports.

The Summit Line and the new Encompass server are manufactured in the US at the company’s facility in Waukegan, IL. These products have all been designed in the US by Telefonix PDT engineers.

Editorial: We had to tell our readers about ReelJuice 3X  from the folks at Telefonix PDT! At AIX, we got a glimpse of the neatest solution for portable stored power with 5 volt storage batteries. ReelJuice 3X is basically a portable power supply with attached cables, and a cord reel for convenience. It will recharge your iPhone 3 times with one USB (or Micro USB) 5 volt charging and supplies the needed iPhone power via a Lightening/Micro USB connector, on a cord reel. Of course, Paul Burke and Mark Schwartz are the creators and who can think about a cord reel without thinking about Paul? Want one? Check out this link!


IFExpress interviewed AirFi in 2015 and during that year alone, they installed some 100 units and by show time this year, they have flying some 250 units and soon to be on 163 aircraft. the 1.8 pound Wi-Fi box is not connected to the aircraft and is now powered by an aircraft standard approved battery… and yes, it will last some 15 hours so the box can be easily replaced at a turnaround having served up to 50 passengers (optimized, but not streaming) will have enjoyed inflight entertainment. The folks at AirFi told IFExpress that they can deliver some 20 movies simultaneously and that in their experience, a B737 will only need 2 boxes to supply all needed IFE. Job Heimerikx told IFExpress that “AirFi is the lowest cost IFE solution for airlines.” The Onboard Hospitality Award Winner for 2016 note the following Key Features: “Full control and flexibility for the airline, No STC (near) same or even better customer experience at a fraction of the cost. It’s fit for every aircraft and Airlines have the full freedom to test any IFE offering. (AirFi) allows airlines to make their own content changes overnight, measure every movement, at no cost, where previously they had nothing. AirFi uses passengers own mobile devices so it is very simple and user-friendly. (AirFi) offers all that in-seat (IFE) offers, plus a lot of interactivity. The system overcomes the problem that free IFE in any aircraft is not economically-viable to retrofit or pre-install. Fresh interactive content every day.” Onboard Hospitality Award Entries – Onboard Technology – OnBoard Hospitality. Here is pre-show release we did on the company; as well as, a KLM reference to routes using the AirFi product.   And finally, an MI Airline announcement of the selection of AirFi.

Other News & Stuff!

  • If you are looking at millennial travel, and you should be, you need this article from the Financial Times. For inflight Wi-Fi, note this: “This taps into another key millennial trend — they are “digital natives” who grew up on the internet and want to be able to do everything online, on demand.” Not to mention the travel industry: “Eventbrite in 2014 found that 78 per cent of millennials would prefer to spend their money on an “experience” — such as a holiday — over something tangible that they could own.” The future of the 20-somethings has future aviation value written all over the next 10 years but the future looks challenging for value and thus Uber is beginning to show up.
  • Boeing’s MOM (Middle of the Market) new airplane in the 200 to 250 seat offering range is “up in the air”: Opinion: Boeing’s Single- Or Twin-Aisle Quandary | Commercial Aviation content from Aviation Week
  • Have you checked out the Routehappy Annual Global State of Wi-Fi 2016? The infographic notes the top three Wi-Fi connected airlines (Delta, American, AA) measured via available seat miles which means you will an 80 percent chance of a connection of US domestic flights… think text/email!
  • If you are new to security issues, and who isn’t, here is a good Cybersecurity Glossary.  From Antivirus to Zero-Day Attack: A Cybersecurity Glossary | Xconomy Noted Kaspersky Labs: “Cybercrime is now such a part of everyday life that we’re no longer shocked by the staggering numbers being reported. For example, Symantec discovered more than 430 million new and unique pieces of malware in 2015, up 36 percent from the year before.”
  • Effective Immediately: Patricia Wiseman is named Publisher, Editor & Co-Founder of IFExpress & Terry Wiseman remains a Partner & Co-Founder.