NBAA Convention News

Cisco will network bizjet passengers

 - June 30, 2008, 8:39 AM

Passengers on business jets equipped by Lufthansa Technik (Booth No. 2341) will soon be flying “fully networked,” thanks to an agreement signed here yesterday by the Hamburg, Germany-based company with Cisco Systems.

Using the aircraft’s own Ethernet infrastructure, the Cisco Systems networking structure will locate and lock in the best communication ground connection, based on a variety of factors, including cost-per-minute, data density and location of the aircraft. Particularly advantageous is the ability of the system to choose between high-band or low-band for a variety of applications. Another highlight is a wireless access point by Cisco to support the IEEE 802.11b standard, with transfer rates of 11 megabytes per second.

At a press conference yesterday, Lufthansa Technik chairman of the executive board August Henningsen said the agreement is the continuation of a relationship between Lufthansa and Cisco on a number of projects. Henningsen characterized the Cisco deal as “a major step toward complete digitization of onboard entertainment.”

Today’s business traveler wants to remain connected to his office and his customers while on the move, said Chris Dedicoat, group v-p for Cisco’s enterprise and commercial sales organization in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “With Lufthansa Technik, we can help these travelers be more productive by helping them turn what used to be enforced-downtime into work time,” said Dedicoat.

Lufthansa, according to Henningsen, was the first aviation company to gain FAA and JAA certification of a wireless network. The company has received approvals for a wireless network on the BBJ, BBJ2 and the Boeing 747-400.