ECA

ECA Group’s aWAP product, on display at APEX Asia. Image: Salva Mendez

ECA Group claims industry first with the double-duty aWAP-MS, which combines a wireless access point and media server into one unit. Will it fly in Asia first?

ECA Group launched two new products at APEX Asia in Shanghai today: a lightweight wireless access point (WAP), called the aWAP, and the aWAP-MS, an “all-in-one” product that integrates a WAP and media server to facilitate the broadcasting of pre-loaded and external in-flight entertainment content on passengers’ personal devices.

“The aWAP-MS is a cost-effective solution compared to our competitors’ products. Combining the media server and access point in the same box saves weight and eases installation, with less cables and mechanical interfaces,” said the company’s manager of IFE Products, Olivier Holin. Such low-profile housing combining a WAP for “the highest available Wi-Fi throughput” and 1 TB of content storage “is unique on the IFE market so far,” Holin added.

“Emerging economies in Asia, especially in China, have shown enormous developments in the aircraft industry … The aWAP range is the perfect answer to their needs.” — Olivier Holin, ECA Group

The solution comes in response to the growing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, Holin added: “There has been a significant rise in demand among airlines for modern IFE equipment that allows them to offer their passengers the flexibility to use their own device for various entertainment services.” The company has yet to secure a customer for the product but said, thanks to its ELT (Emergency Locator Transmitter) activities, it is in ongoing contact with airlines from all over the world and is awaiting feedback on the new aWAP range.

Regarding the company’s decision to launch the products at APEX Asia, Holin says, “Emerging economies in Asia, especially in China, have shown enormous developments in the aircraft industry. Today, IFE is a value-added service and plays a vital role for airlines. The aWAP range is the perfect answer to their needs.”

Valerie is deputy editor at APEX Media.