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Airport technology is letting you down but LTE is here to help

Outdated technologies are holding many airports back from achieving their true potential. Much-needed business transformation is being held back by unreliable networks for critical communication. Rather than rely on TETRA or Wi-Fi, what would happen if LTE-powered Enterprise Communication was introduced for professional applications and services at an airport?

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Airports around the globe are challenged by steady passenger growth, the need to increase non-aeronautical revenue, improve security and surveillance, and ever-increasing expectations of passenger experience. But their technology is letting them down.

Ground staff still use TETRA networks – despite the associated lack of data, media or video capabilities – and are forced to turn to Wi-Fi networks with coverage and congestions problems. The limited security standard in Wi-Fi networks creates a new concern as digital attacks become more common. Add to this the issue of extending CCTV networks, which can be both costly and problematic in many areas of the airport and surroundings.

Short- and long-term drawbacks

Drawbacks like these can often be managed in the day-to-day process by finding workarounds and relying on skilled staff that knows what to do even when technology sets the limits. In the short term, airport managers cannot get a real-time overview of each critical process as they are being executed across the airport. However, the long-term issue is that it stops innovation, operational improvements, and prevents young digital natives from energizing the organization.

LTE-powered Enterprise Communication is the answer

I think everyone would agree with the phenomenal innovation power of mobile broadband for personal use, so why not introduce Enterprise Communication powered by LTE for professional applications and services at airports? This is a emergent topic across the transport industry and more and more companies are beginning to realize the potential of harvesting the transformation power of LTE networks. There are many good reasons why and the top four for the airport industry are, in my opinion, the following:

  • The airport can harmonize all communication needs into a single network for voice, data, video/surveillance, media, asset tracking, M2M and IoT;
  • LTE is a future-proofed technology with a rich ecosystem of devices. This means that almost anything with a SIM-card can be connected and integrated;
  • Relying on 3GPP standards personnel can securely and wirelessly access enterprise applications and services from anywhere at the airport;
  • Airport managers can monitor all assets, personnel and processes in real time, which in turn enables instantaneous collaborative decision making.

Ericsson and Air France trial end-to-end LTE network 

One thought-leading customer has realized the power and benefits of LTE-based communication for its enterprise needs and Ericsson is proud to announce that we are supporting Air France – one of Europe’s largest commercial airlines – with an end-to-end LTE network. The trial will last for six months at Charles de Gaulle airport in Roissy-en-France, France, and we expect it to reinforce the need for – and pave the way for – LTE-based communication within the aviation industry.

Passenger growth is set to continue for several years to come and many airports need to overcome silo thinking to improve the passenger experience and aircraft turnaround time. I believe we will see many more aviation companies follow the example of Air France – especially since small-scale enterprise LTE solutions can re-use both existing telecommunications infrastructure and devices without adding the complexity of massive commercial networks.

Let’s talk LTE

If you want discover how LTE-based Enterprise Communications can benefit your business, contact me directly to schedule a virtual demo or why not meet at this year’s Passenger Terminal Expo & Conference 2017 from March 14-16 at the RAI Amsterdam, Netherlands? Hope to see you there!

Next, don’t miss Airport management solutions from Ericsson and find out how airport operators are turning to Ericsson for end-to-end solutions that transform the passenger journey.

Today’s post was written by Marcus Velin, Global Head of Business Development for Aviation, Ericsson.


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