Airline online? It’s complicated
The truth about in-flight connectivity
We’ve all been there. You board a plane and the first thing you do after taking your seat is trying to link up with the on-board Wi-Fi service. Then the loading wheel appears…
In-flight connectivity often won’t deliver what it promises. Not for the passenger using it, not for the airline providing it. The Wi-Fi service on-board commercial flights has become a criterion equally important to passengers as seat comfort.
Todays` in-flight connectivity services mostly have insufficient take-up rates and airtime is expensive. And unfortunately, it’s not like cellular communication where you can easily change connectivity providers and services by just swapping SIM-cards. In-flight connectivity systems can be massive, proprietary and risky, locking airlines down in technologies with high installation and operation costs that still won’t result in the expected performance.
Ideally, connectivity service quality measurements will monitor each passenger seat individually or, better still, every single client or personal electronic device (PED) linking up to the system.
To address on-board connectivity issues in a more sophisticated and insightful way, umlaut has developed a way to simulate and test the performance of any planned system to verify wireless multi-passenger configurations. Our solution is a special test set up that can consider every cabin’s individual characteristics and is capable of measuring all the relevant data required to optimize configurations.
The “umlaut RF Canopy Lab” is a specially developed and patented mock-up chamber constructed from aluminium-coated foil which can be adjusted to precisely mirror the individual shape and geometry of any cabin that is to be examined. It simulates reflections from radio waves on the aircraft skin, equally keeping any RF disturbance off the canopy. Our test system consists of multiple servers controlling multiple PED’s as test devices as well as a computer controlling the test scenarios and test cases. It records all relevant test parameters and values, such as data throughput levels, latency times and the ID of the Wireless Access Point (WAP) every device connects to.
As an independent cross-industry specialist, umlaut provides full real-time transparency and all the technical insights necessary to assess performance, detect weaknesses and develop custom upgrade solutions to take inflight-connectivity to an altitude where it works both in the passengers’ favour – and that of airlines too.
We help airlines significantly improve their connectivity services, secure customer loyalty and stay competitive with our unique end-to-end offering of services addressing all difficulties in designing, procuring, testing and optimizing inflight connectivity systems.