Telefonix PDT(TM) announced that they now have an STC for Boeing 737NG – 700, 800 & 900 aircraft types for both the CabinPinnacle(TM) server and CabinACe(TM)wireless access point. The STC was just awarded prior to APEX in Singapore, and we understand that Kaiser Charter was the first installation completed in October. This STC represents the first phase of certifications and it is our understanding that phase 2 will include the CabinEdge(TM) content loader. The content loader works while the aircraft is in service and data is trickled, loading into shadow memory, and eventually ending up in the operational memory as the update is installed. Telefonix PDT is also working on garnering a similar STC for the A320 aircraft family. The STC/PMA was strategically planned to grow the company’s customer base for the 737 in the Asia region. The airlines have the data rights to use the system, with the hardware being sold, not leased. Lest you forget, Telefonix(TM) has had a long standing relationship with production in China; and, in 2017, the company has plans to establish a repair station in China, in addition to their current repair station in Waukegan, Illinois. One point that was stressed in our interview at APEX was that Telefonix PDT is not just an equipment provider, but a design and engineering services provider as well. (Editor’s Note: IFExpress has watched Telefonix PDT grow over the past 20+ years and we feel that they have developed excellent, low-cost IFE system components and the China relationships, as well as their involvement with many hardware manufactures within the industry, is proof of this. You should watch this company in the coming year – we think they are going to grow!)
Have you heard about the Panasonic Blog? We asked Panasonic how it came about and here is what a spokesperson said: “Matthias Walter and Estel Carbo worked very hard on this and have a plan that we thinks helps give more insights into the IFEC landscape.” Matthias Walther, Senior Manager of Integrated Marketing at Panasonic Avionics said, “Marketing these days has many facets. Hard sales has its place in marketing too but in an industry as relationship-driven as ours it’s essential to engage in a dialog that is more about education than promotion, more about solutions than product and more about value than price. Of course we will occasionally talk about us and what we bring to the table but only if we and what we write adds value to the daily lives of our customers will our blog be successful.” Noted Panasonic: “One of the business principles of Panasonic’s founder Knosuke Matsushita describes customer focus always trumping sales concerns. In that spirit our blog intends to drive knowledge, our relationship with our customers and the quality of decision making in one direction, UP.” Check it out here.
Panasonic Weather Solution
Panasonic Avionics Corporation and Safety Line unveiled a strategic partnership that will enable airlines to benefit from significant fuel savings. Panasonic Weather Solutions (PWS) provides Safety Line with enhanced global weather forecast through real-time weather data collection from its TAMDAR sensors and FlightLink Iridium system. TAMDAR data provides observations of wind, temperature, and moisture every five seconds as TAMDAR-equipped aircraft descend and ascend at nearly 300 airports across North America. It also collects about 3,500 profiles each day from several hundred additional airports located in East Asia, the Pacific, and Europe. This data is used by Panasonic’s Forecasting Center of Excellence (FCoE), which develops detailed station-based weather forecasting, as well as enhanced weather forecasting. The process is fully automated from the weather live feed to flight plan analysis and climb schedule issuance to the pilot. Airlines can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10 percent during ascent thanks to OptiClimb’s unique patented solution, which uses a combination of machine learning performance models for each individual aircraft, and the computing of optimized climb profiles issued ahead of each flight.
Also check this link The Connected Aircraft (Part I) – Curating the Internet of Me – UP – Panasonic Avionics Blog if you want to know a bit more about the connected aircraft.
We should note that Hawaiian Airlines has experienced the benefits of SwiftBroadband-Safety delivered through Cobham advanced AVIATOR avionics and has now chosen to expand its commitment to high speed broadband in the flight deck with its A321neo. But to see the features that are provided, you must check out this Inmarsat Global Aeronautical Distress and Safety System feature download – this is the future of aviation safety and you need to check it out!
The FAA issued a new rule that forces Boeing 787 operators to periodically shut down and restart airplane power that reboots onboard computers to overcome a glitch that shuts down flight control computers during flight! Finding and fixing this “inconsistency” will be very, very interesting. Stay Tuned!
- Satellite 2017
Be a part of the world’s largest gathering of the international satellite community. Taking place in Washington, D.C. March 6-9, 2017 the SATELLITE 2017 Conference and Exhibition don’t miss this opportunity to hear from executive speakers from commercial airlines, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Air Force!
- THE ‘Donald’
Donald Trump says the new Air Force One contract should be cancelled! Perhaps Airbus will make a better offer? Then Boeing put this news release out – Boeing Statement on Air Force One – Dec 6, 2016 Or, you might want to read the following story from Gizmodo – beware there are x-rated words, so watch out!
If you have been wondering where IoT and cloud computing are going, one answer is ‘physically portable data’. This is going to be one of the markets of the next generation cloud because of security and access as large (and now medium) data portability and cloud interaction become involved. We suspect that the airlines will see value in this if hacking gets any worse Amazon Cloud Gets A Bit More Hybrid This just may be one futures of the medium and big data cloud storage and security.
In-Flight hook-ups now supported with AirDates “This is achieved using Multipeer WiFi between smartphones, eliminating the need to rely upon the Plane’s WiFi network or other connection.” Check it out here – but you might need the Trusted Contacts app as well.
Quick Study: Millennials
While in Singapore, we heard one word over and over – millennial- so we thought after the show we would do the research on who they are and why they are so important to some industries. While this quick bit of data is just a speed read, we think the answers are telling and important to IFEC, especially C (Communications).
First what is a millennial? It is a person ‘reaching young adulthood around the year 2000’ the dictionary said. Noted Goldman Sachs: “The Millennial generation is the largest in US history and as they reach their prime working and spending years, their impact on the economy is going to be huge. Millennials have come of age during a time of technological change, globalization and economic disruption. That’s given them a different set of behaviors and experiences than their parents.They have been slower to marry and move out on their own, and have shown different attitudes to ownership that have helped spawn what’s being called a ‘sharing economy.’ They’re also the first generation of digital natives, and their affinity for technology helps shape how they shop. They are used to instant access to price comparisons, product information and peer reviews.” Further, a company called iGR interviewed and surveyed millennials to get their views on communication and technology and here is what they said: “As the largest and highly communication-tech-savy generation; they are at the epicenter of our curiosity to drive decision-making for the next wave of innovation in infrastructure. Take note! The most successful service providers over the next 5-10 years will be those who best understand the emerging generations communication behavior, accurately anticipate core service wants and needs, proactively adapt and adjust business strategies, and finally, provide the most relevant solutions and services.” That about says it all and explains why the word ‘millennial’ was so popular in Singapore, especially with those who dealt with communications, connectivity, and cost!
Augsburg, Germany | October 25, 2016– Kontron, a leading global provider of Embedded Computing Technology (ECT), today announced that the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has given the company’s Cab-n-Connect™ A100 cabin wireless access point (CWAP) its Parts Manufacturer Approval (PMA) Supplement for multiple aircraft models including Boeing 737-700, 737-800, 767-200, 767-300, Airbus A330-300, A320-200, and Embraer ERJ 190-100. Receiving the FAA’s PMA Supplement certifies the Cab-n-Connect’s use on aircraft and streamlines their deployment in commercial aircraft installations worldwide.
“The award of the FAA PMA ensures our customers that they have the best connectivity products available, having passed rigorous reliability, safety and standards testing,” Kontron Head of the Avionics Business Line, Jim VandeSteeg. “Being certified also gives our customers a huge head start by avoiding the one to two years it would take them for certification. Kontron remains committed to helping commercial aviation companies use wireless technology to the fullest — not only to improve the customer experience but also to help them enhance and simplify operations.”
To protect against network attacks, the Kontron Cab-n-Connect A100 features state-of-the-art enterprise level wireless security based on the WiNG™ 5 software and Air Defense™. This integrated software provides a highly robust distributed architecture that extends QoS, security and mobility services on the aircraft enabling highly-secure direct routing and network resilience.
The Cab-n-Connect A100 is designed to deliver next-generation HD video streaming capabilities crucial for dense multiple client applications on aircraft. It features best-in-class performance based on the latest 802.11ac technology supplying significantly increased data throughput compared to 802.11n-based equipment. The integrated antenna solution reduces the overall size and installation complexity. Integrating breakthrough technologies such as 3X3 Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO), the A100 supports 3-spatial streams of data that can be sent simultaneously to a single client device, substantially improving bandwidth efficiency and utilization. Additional enhancements in beamforming enable the most efficient path for data transmission between an access point and a client device. With the Cab-n-Connect A100, both the client device and access point work together to provide an optimized communication path for stronger and faster data transmission.
For more information on the Kontron Cab-n-Connect™ A100 CWAP and the company’s complete portfolio of commercial avionics IFE&C solutions, please visit: http://www.kontron.com/industries/avionics
A few months back, we penned a story about one of the most important improvements in inflight connectivity… more specifically, the VT Miltope router called nMAP2 and asked Robert Guidetti , VP/GM Commercial Division of VT Miltope for more data about the technical capability of it and its associated improvements on an aircraft Wi-Fi system, specifically, the increased passenger connectivity performance by using Cognitive Hotspot Technology (CHT). This time, we would like to increase the background on the CHT story and cover a bit more on the 802.11ac technology. If you don’t remember the story, you can find it here . So let’s now continue with some questions whose answers will provide our readers with a bit more technical knowledge about CHT:
1. Bob, first can you give us a quick summary of CHT, including some of the benefits, and tell our readers what products in the industry currently have it?
Cognitive Hotspot(TM) Technology (CHT) optimizes network performance in highly congested wireless environments. As more passengers bring one, or more, Wi-Fi devices onto the airplane, with higher expectations for performance, VT Miltope recognized the need to actively manage the wireless spectrum, the wireless access points (WAPs) and the associated client devices. Although the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands have a finite spectrum, at times the appetite for these bands seems almost insatiable. With the rapid expansion of services such as Video-on-Demand (VoD), e-mail, web surfing, games, and more, the cabin wireless network can become highly congested.
CHT actively monitors the spectrum utilization, the number of Wi-Fi client devices assigned to the network WAPs, what services are being supported, data rate requirements, data utilization, etc. Using the information gathered from real-time monitoring, CHT manages the wireless network, including: client load balancing, band and channel assignments, RF power, client roaming, the data service type (VoD, e-mail, web surfing, games, etc.) and rogue WAP detection. Overall, CHT optimizes the bandwidth available to the Wi-Fi cabin network.
The overarching result of using CHT is to allow an airline to use fewer WAPs, and to increase the overall performance of the wireless cabin network. Therefore, the IFE&C system performs at a higher level, at a lower cost.
VT Miltope’s latest cabin WAP, the nMAP2, embraces CHT as a standard feature set.
2. Why does the “C” in CHT stand for “Cognitive”? Furthermore, would you please note some of the long list of features provided by the nMAP2 with CHT?
The “Cognitive” in Cognitive Hotspot(TM) Technology reminds us that CHT makes a WAP smart. With CHT the VT Miltope nMAP2 WAPs are able to talk to each other, to share information gathered about the wireless environment, and to make intelligent decisions to optimize the wireless network.
- CHT is specifically designed to address the unique challenges of a dense and highly congested wireless environment, e.g. the aircraft cabin. The following summary list provides a smattering of the real-time CHT functions inherent within the nMAP2.
Automatic Channel Assignment (ACA):
- Advanced Load Balancing with QoS (ALB)
- Smart Roaming (SR)
- Automatic Failure Recovery (AFR)
- Location-Based Services (LBS)
- Interference Minimizer (IM)
- Advanced User Interface (AUI)
- Dynamic Frequency Selection (DFS) (DFS is on the CHT roadmap)
With these and additional features, the nMAP2 becomes a Cognitive, knowledge gathering and decision making network device.
3. Mr. Guidetti, this is a repeat question but given the various standards (802.11a, b, g, n, and ac) can you again tell our readers what is/are the standard(s) used most often today and please give us a bit of information about the number of available channels and the bandwidth available for each and where this is all headed for fliers in the next few years?
Development of the original IEEE 802.11 standard was started in the early 1990’s with the initial release in 1997, with revision A being released in 1999. As we look at the 802.11a/b/g/n/ac evolution in the table below, we see that most of these revisions were multiple years apart with significant increases in theoretical data rates from 11a and11g, to 11n, to 11ac. Although the actual data rates do not normally match the theoretical data rates (on the ground or in the air), the actual data rate increases have been quite impressive as well.
Today, 802.11n has become commonplace with 802.11ac rapidly becoming the highest performing and dominant Wi-Fi offering, with most portable wireless capable devices (smartphones, tablet computers, etc.) now coming standard with 802.11ac radios.
4. Bob, we understand “the cloud” is an important part of the connectivity solution, can you tell our readers how it plays a part in your connectivity solution?
As airlines adapt cloud computing to the aircraft, the availability of high capacity, reliable wireless networks on the aircraft will play an important role. Having a wireless network that can be scaled to support the increasing utilization and demands of the cloud without having to add more wireless hardware will benefit airlines in multiple ways. nMAP2 with CHT and its ability to assign quality of service criteria to airline prioritized data ideally supports cloud services.
5. Streaming video has become an important part of the connectivity solution today and we wonder if you are seeing increased airline request for more and better data rates, if the CHT technology improves capability to stream video and exactly how does that occur?
Yes, streaming video and content loading are two of the most demanding connectivity applications – streaming video because of its relatively high data rate requirement and that it be nearly error free without error correction, and content loading due to the large amount of data that must be moved within a limited time.
A significant wireless challenge within the airplane cabin is RF congestion with potentially hundreds of client devices competing for connectivity to the network. CHT manages RF channel usage, RF power levels and re-assigns client devices to the correct WAP/nMAP2 to optimize the wireless network performance. Testing with and without CHT has shown a 2-to-1 performance improvement within crowded wireless environments.
6. Given that an airline installs a CHT capable wireless router, can you tell our readers what differences an airline can expect with the technology and typically how many can be served streaming content at one time?
The nMAP2 with CHT performance can allow an airline to use fewer WAP/nMAP2 units per cabin, or to increase performance to more client devices than traditional WAPs. Regarding the number of client devices per nMAP2, this will vary depending upon the airplane cabin configuration, the number of client devices vying for the same RF channels, the QoS requirements, etc.
However, a good rule-of-thumb for 1 Mbps streaming video per nMAP2 radio is: 36 to 54 client devices using the 5 GHz channels and 18 to 36 client devices using the 2.4 GHz channels.
7. Can you tell us a little about the most recent testing (or installations) of the nMAP2 product and the results that you saw?
We are very excited about the nMAP2 – with hundreds of aircraft installations; our customers are finding the on-aircraft performance results and lab test results to be similar. Since CHT is able to manage the wireless network utilizing real-time signal-to-noise (SNR), QoS requirements, RF power measurement and management, and other parameters the nMAP2 with CHT is able to improve performance throughput by up to 400% within highly congested environments.
8. Is there any new technology and/or new products on the horizon that VT Miltope has on the drawing board?
VT Miltope sees two technology opportunities coming. The first his here and is on our roadmap for this coming year, with the second being closely watched. The first is 801.11ac Wave-2. Wave-2 is advancement to the initial roll-out of 802.11ac, with Wave-2 providing the potential to add more clients with faster data rates in crowded environments such as the airplane cabin.
The second opportunity is IEEE 802.11ad, nicknamed WiGig (wireless gigabit). Since the standards’ release in 2012, WiGig has been getting some traction. WiGig is a 60 GHz based RF communication standard targeted at high data rate, short range applications, such as gaming and high performance video. WiGig is being combined with 2.4 and 5 GHz Wi-Fi devices to provide three band options depending upon the user’s needs. The industry is watching the roll-out of WiGig to see how well it is accepted within the consumer electronics market – in other words: when will enough people be carrying WiGig devices onto airplanes to start rolling WiGig into IFE&C systems?
9. Please add any products, services, or new features we have not covered.
VT Miltope’s latest product release is the cTWLU. The cTWLU provides flexible and cost effective wireless communications while an airplane is on the ground. Utilizing 3G Cellular, LTE and 802.11a/b/g/n & ac, the cTWLU is used to load IFE content, to load EFB data and to move maintenance data from the airplane to an airlines’ data center. The cTWLU is a much lower cost alternative to satellite communications, and satellite coverage is often spotty when an airplane is on the ground.
VT Miltope’s latest cabin WAP, the nMAP2, embraces CHT as a standard feature set. Soon VT Miltope’s latest wireless product, the cTWLU, will also harness the power of CHT. The cTWLU is an LTE, Cellular and 802.11a/b/g/n & ac enabled wireless Gatelink device for airplane to airport surface communications.
10. Also, any new or other changes we can note… such as people or customers we should mention?
The nMAPw is also incredible.
Unfortunately, most of our customers request anonymity. However, please come by our booth at APEX (Booth #1717 ) in Singapore and we can answer other questions you might have about the incredible cTWLU and nMAP2!
Seat integration is now a major game changer in the realm of in-flight entertainment and seat design. Rising to these challenges, IFPL has designed a new concept – a unique range of remote multi-port solutions that provide the airline, seat vendor and IFEC supplier with complete flexibility to integrate and combine design aesthetics with ergonomics. IFPL’s unique multi-port range allows airlines, seat and IFEC suppliers the ability to deliver maximum seat integration, creating an accessible and seamless design aesthetic. With flexibility at the core, IFPL have designed a multi-port range that provides options for customization such as: front or rear mounted, fascia material and color, soft light guide color and intensity An ingenious design, this new type of Multiport Jack offers airlines around the world the flexibility of choosing from a variety of easy to replace modules. These include a variety of audio Jacks, different types of USB outlets and a collection of wireless interface options with functions such as reading lights and passenger control buttons. The Multiport Range is available in a number of size (port) options to facilitate clean and neat integration including 2, 3 and 4 port solutions. To provide even more flexibility, IFPL is taking the same approach with its 110V A/C and USB-C 3.1 power outlets. Committed to working with industry partners and customers across the globe, IFPL strives to deliver a seamlessly integrated passenger in-flight journey, turning the mundane into a more enhanced experience.
We received a last minute input from Irina at Ideasroadshow – “Here is the link on our YouTube channel. I am also sending you a link to the Motivational Moments playlist on our IFE YouTube channel. (Editor’s Note: This is good stuff and thanks for sharing it with our readers!)
Singapore Uber Deal – Download the Uber app and register for an account. You’ll have the option to input your credit card or opt for cash payment. To enjoy a $15 FREE ride, simply enter the code “IFEXPRESS” into the Promotions tab! The code is valid until 31 October 2016.
There were a lot of new LED Cabin Interior suppliers at AIX and an interesting trend we observed was the simplification and down-colorizing of the solutions… white, blue and red were the primary solutions we found. Designed as a cabin lighting retrofit solution, LED’s provide light, reliability, and the promise of color while lowering weight and power requirements… not to mention cost. What’s not to like?
Now, let’s talk about one vendor we visited – STG Aerospace. In the past we visited STG Aerospace but never got the full story – this time we did, and boy what a thoughtful and precise pitch on the STG Aerospace solution it was… it is called liTeMood®. We can’t say enough about their CEO, Nigel Duncan. If you ever get the chance to hear STG Aerospace’s side of the LED argument, don’t miss it. Nigel had to be from Marketing because his idea of a presentation is exactly what airlines need to see. Features, Advantages, and Benefits – STG Aerospace’s point was simple… since 94% of air travelers are coach fliers – with slim profit margin fliers, do airlines need to spend up to $3 million for “sky-like” a complete interior retrofit when well-designed LED lighting solutions in limited colors can provide significant improvement to the passenger experience at 1/nth the cost?
Putting the costs in perspective, Mr. Duncan’s version of “Maslow’s Need Hierarchy Pyramid” said it all. Quoting Bubb’s Discomfort Pyramid (2008) and pointing out the relative location of “visual vs. biological needs”, he noted the order of least to most disruptive environments to humans from top to bottom goes: Ambience, Anthropological, Temperature, Acoustic, Vibration, Light, and at the bottom, Odor. Put simply, as long as there is no bad odor in the cabin, poor quality lighting is the next most important cause of passenger discomfort.
Yes, STG Aerospace notes, “as Light is way down the discomfort pyramid as one of the impactful to humans so why,” STG Aerospace asks, “It is good there is attention finally being paid to cabin lighting; but do airlines really need expensive and complex multi-colored lighting solutions to improve the economy cabin need to spend so much for it“…good question? “To be a light solution most effective,” Nigel noted: “that the lighting needs to be uniform and aesthetically pleasing and has to work with the airline’s brand. Further, it needs to have visual impact but still manage the passenger’s well-being. Additionally, each area of the cabin lighting needs to be task optimized then combined with a holistic cabin view – it must look good.” Lest we forget he noted that it must also be in regulatory compliance with the photoluminescent floor-path charging regime.
The point here is to ask two basic lighting questions: What do passengers really need – and – How much should it cost? With some 10 sources and points of aircraft interior lighting perhaps the trick here is to “optimize but do not over-customize and avoid unnecessary color complexity which may not yield meaningful benefits to passengers or the airlines”. Thus STG Aerospace struck out and built a blue-white system that is simple, cost effective, non-invasive, non-software driven – a light solution that has human factor benefits, is brand positive, is simple to install and operate, while still having future programmable capabilities. STG Aerospace’s Lighting System really impressed us.
We asked Nigel about future aircraft interior lighting issues and he had a few ideas that our readers might like to hear:
• Health concerns may drive hands-free control of lighting…think motion or voice activated.
• Data transmitted thru light sources – modulated LED sources
• Passenger centric lighting…not aircraft interior-centric.
• Cabin density increase and the effect on passenger interior lighting
• The change from in-seat IFE to BYOD and the lighting required.
• Unknown but stronger regulatory requirements.
Finally, Mr. Duncan pointed out that their liTeMood®. LED lighting product is true a plug-and play retrofit with no aircraft modification. It meets all regulatory requirements and offers a significant 40% weight improvement, not to mention 70% reduction in cabin lighting power, and last, but not least, a patented wireless program-ability function.
Of the more “interesting” sides of the reporting business, referral-based based stories are always interesting and this is one of them. At least two industry knowledgeable sources told IFExpress that we “had” to interview the avionics company we are about to disclose here. While their motives were most probably based on sales potential we felt there must be more – you be the judge. The company is called SKYFE and is a combination of people from two Turkish technical companies – Havelsan, who, we understand is the 32 year-old Turkish software/tech company (1200 employees) that has inroads into the Turkish military, and Turkish Technic which deals in new technology hardware.
Their prime new commercial product, as far as we can determine, is a wireless IFE portable device/system (outside IFE products) inflight entertainment solution that has been in development for 2 years. We note that they showed a server (WQAR – Wireless Quick Access Recorder, which looks quite impressive, by the way) that has cell connectivity antennas for ground connectivity updates. We were told that the IFE system is in the final rounds of EASA certification. SKYFE did not mention whose wireless router was involved (nor was it shown in their booth and the server was probably a variant of the one shown) but we assumed that they do not manufacturer the router and the “Kontron” name came up, we note. Their inroads with Turkish Airlines (Turk Hava Yollari) are assumed to be quite good and with 263 commercial aircraft under Turkish wings, SKYFE is assumed to have a high market potential there, at least for their first IFE attempt.
SKYFE also displayed a few rows of seats with seatback IFE in operation. They did note that the seatback demo was only a mockup of a system to be developed and rolled out later. The existing server unit we saw was part of a system development that included a ground 3G station used presently for aircraft data collection and management – IFE seemed a natural extension for that server. SKYFE mentioned that their prices were competitive, hardware fully customizable, and they have an in-house certification, installation, and maintenance capability
The first wireless unit install is, as we said, awaiting certification and SKYFE is looking for a first customer as well (unless you assume the first unit will be for Turkish). We suspect the Turkish Airline fleet is in their sights, but if their product line grows, they will be another IFE contender, especially in their corner of the world. Not only because they build equipment, but because they install it as well. One of their software management team was in our interview and we were quite impressed with his grasp of the IFE challenge. We also note that all the show business cards were from Havelsan employees but that their website is still in development, we assume. Further, the message here is these folks have an inside line on a lot of potential IFE and thus you vendors know exactly what to do. We also guess you will hear more about SKYFE so Stay Tuned.
Here is an inflight texting update and it is partially being driven by Gogo and TMobile because their customers can text free on over 2000 US aircraft today. While not commercially launched, the service is still running with free text and picture messaging and visual voicemail today. Saying “talking is becoming a thing of the past,” Gogo Inflight Connectivity CEO Michael Small told investment analysts and its Talk and Text product is generating “substantial” business on the business aviation side. “It’s on many aircraft,” he told reporters, “we actually are seeing some interesting things like a very high percentage of our BA customers have chosen to add it,” he said, in a Seeking Alpha transcript. He further noted, “The world has moved on from talking. It’s emailing and its texting. Talking is becoming a thing of the past.” Sure is… especially when the other is free. Our only complaint is that there is not enough info about the availability before or during the flight because it is not an “offerable product” yet. Expect to see this solution popular for even-more-expensive satcom calls.