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Rising star,FTS

Rising star,FTS

Based in China, Singapore and California, FTS is a new kid on the block as far as IFEC goes and is causing a stir with its cabin wifi system. Richard Williams discovers why...

FTS is on a roll. Last October it had equipped a China Southern Airlines B737-800  with its Cabin Wireless System and received CAAC (Civil Aviation Administration of China MDA (Modification Design Approval) certification.Within days it announced a further two airline customers had been secured,one in southeast Asia and one in North America.

The company is also on track to receive FAA(Federal Aviation Administration) and EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency)issues of respective STC (Supplemental Type Certification) in early 2017 which will pave the way for its expansion into international markets.

MAKINGCONNECTIONS

The FTS Cabin Wireless Solution is designed and manufactured in-house.It features a high performance 2-MCU embedded file server, two wireless access points that support the latest 802.11ac standard and a 3G/4G cellular modem taking up to four sim cards. Passengers can connect to the onboard wireless network through their own devices and stream HD-quality video and audio, play games, read news, view flight maps and destination guides and shop and order food or drinks.Based on equipment weighing just under 10kg – including the onboard server, modem and cabin Wireless Access Points (WAPs) – a single WAP can service up to 180 concurrent passenger streams, although typically two are used on a narrow body aircraft. Ben Fuller, director of marketing for the Americas, says: "Among our first customers is First Air based in Ottawa, Canada. We are initially installing on four of the airline's B737s and anticipating additional planes as the airline expands. FTS Asia is installing our system on Myanmar Airways too and we have a live system in China as well.”

USER FRIENDLY

The FTS system is fully certified and integrated onto the aircraft as this is felt to enhance safety and cuts out the need for daily charging or servicing. Passengers can use it through a downloadable app or through a web-based portal onboard so they don’t have to download the app prior to the flight. A solid cloud back end allows big data capture. Fuller adds: “There is no daily provisioning or need to charge batteries or replace onboard units. Content can be updated from the ground through the 3G/4G wireless modem as well as transaction data and system updates. The flight attendants also have the ability during the flight to manage the system in terms of usage and what modules to activate if necessary.”

(内容来自于OnBoardHospitality杂志)

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