ORLANDO, FL [NBAA Annual Meeting & Convention] – October 17, 2006 – Aircell is pleased to announce that FAA certification has been received for the wireless functionality of Aircell Axxess, the company’s flagship satcom system. In addition, Aircell has successfully completed integration testing, allowing operators to add their choice of Inmarsat data connections to Aircell Axxess.
“Today’s announcements continue to fulfill the vision we had for Aircell Axxess from the very beginning – the system’s modularity and expandability is tremendous,” said Jack Blumenstein, Aircell President & CEO. “In the cabin, the new wireless capabilities provide the convenience of using your own compatible device, plus the ability to change and grow as ground-based technology marches forward. Off the aircraft, the new Inmarsat capabilities allow people to add global data capabilities to Aircell Axxess without changing any of the in-cabin hardware – a wonderful example of the system’s ‘network neutral’ design.”
With its wireless function enabled, Aircell Axxess provides an 802.11b/g wireless hotspot aboard the aircraft, enabling a number of current and future capabilities. When a broadband connection (such as Inmarsat or Aircell broadband) is installed on the aircraft, passengers can use Aircell Axxess’ in-cabin wireless connection to seamlessly operate laptops and other 802.11b/g Wi-Fi devices to surf the Internet, use e-mail, and log on to their corporate VPN’s.
Aircell Axxess’ new wireless capabilities will also allow operators to use Aircell’s new, certified Wi-Fi handsets when they become available in the spring. Like the rest of the Aircell Axxess handset family, the new Wi-Fi handsets will feature large-format color displays, internal phone books, integrated headset/earbud jacks, and noise reduction for clear, quiet calling.
In addition, integration testing is now underway on a variety of COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) smartphones for use with Aircell Axxess. More on that system capability will be announced as compatible devices become increasingly available on the consumer market in the coming months.
Aircell Axxess’ wireless certification was completed aboard a Falcon business jet.
One of Aircell Axxess’ original design principles was to allow easy, plug-in expansion capabilities for high-speed Inmarsat data services. When used together, Aircell Axxess provides the fundamental in-cabin architecture, including a wireless hotspot, new color handsets, PBX functionality, and two built-in Iridium links for voice & narrowband data, while the Inmarsat system provides the high-speed data channels. The combination offers a powerful global communications solution.
Formal validation and integration testing has now been successfully completed with Aircell Axxess and the following two popular, Inmarsat-based satcom systems:
--EMS SATCOM’s eNfusion™ HSD high-speed data terminals and CNX® Cabin Gateway Series device. When using EMS SATCOM’s eNfusion HSD-128 or HSD-400 high-speed data terminal, operators get dual channel or four channel Swift64 high-speed Inmarsat data links. The eNfusion CNX® Cabin Gateway Series device provides acceleration and compression and the functionality of commercial hubs, routers, Ethernet switches, multiplexers and 802.11g wireless-access points in one package.
--Chelton’s HSD-7000 and HSD-6000 systems. These systems give operators two simultaneous Swift64 channels, and they are expandable to four channels with a second, slaved Satellite Data Unit.
Aircell® is the leader in global airborne telecommunications for the Business Aviation market. Its products are offered by virtually every fixed- and rotor-wing airframe manufacturer in business aviation, and are installed aboard the world’s four largest fractional ownership fleets. A single-source, turnkey provider of equipment, service, and technical support, Aircell simplifies airborne communications and keeps you In Touch, In Flight®.
The 2006 winner of the FCC’s exclusive broadband frequency license, Aircell is also pioneering a revolutionary new wireless broadband system for North America. Available only from Aircell, it will include robust Wi-Fi hotspots that enable airline passengers to surf the Internet, use e-mail, and log on to their corporate VPN’s using their personal 802.11a/b/g-equipped Wi-Fi data devices. The system will also offer airline operational communications capabilities and provide a path to a wealth of future cabin services.
Set for introduction in 2008, the new broadband service will also be available to business aircraft operators, offering a similar set of features.
Aircell (www.aircell.com) has facilities in Louisville, Colorado, and Itasca, Illinois, USA.