RENO, NV [AEA Annual Convention] – March 29, 2007 – Today, Aircell announced early details about Aircell broadband for business aviation. Aircell broadband is an exclusive new high-speed data system set for release early next year.
Aircell broadband will offer business aircraft operators true high-speed connectivity at a cost, weight, and complexity that is substantially lower than any system available now or in the foreseeable future. It is based on the same proven technology that drives the newest generation of ground-based mobile wireless devices.
“For over a generation, high-speed connectivity in the air has lagged behind broadband services that are widely available on the ground, and Aircell is about to change that forever,” said Jack W. Blumenstein, Aircell President & CEO. “With Aircell’s new broadband service, business aircraft travelers will be able to use their own compatible Wi-Fi laptops, PDA’s and dual-mode Smartphones in the cabin – at DSL speeds – just like they do on the ground.”
The Aircell broadband link will be a modular option available exclusively to business aircraft equipped with the Aircell Axxess™ cabin system. With Aircell broadband installed, passengers will log on to the Aircell Axxess 802.11b/g “hotspot” and experience connection speeds comparable to DSL service in a home, coffee shop or small office. These speeds will easily support full-scale Internet surfing, e-mail with attachments and corporate VPN access.
At launch, the new broadband system will provide full, seamless coverage in the U.S. – from coast to coast and border to border – beginning at 10,000 AGL. Service in Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean is planned to follow. The system will automatically transition between ground stations, providing uninterrupted service as the aircraft moves across the country.
From an equipment perspective, the Aircell broadband system will be available as an optional plug-in for the Aircell Axxess cabin system. It will include a single broadband LRU that weighs less than 15 lbs and connects via integrated Ethernet port.
The Aircell broadband system will operate over the exclusive, dedicated air-to-ground frequencies awarded to Aircell in a 2006 Federal Communications Commission (FCC) spectrum auction. Pricing and additional technical specifications will be announced in the near future.
To assist customers in planning their MagnaStar® -replacement strategies and other equipment purchases in the coming year, Aircell has published whitepaper entitled Aircell Broadband Service: A Technology Primer for Business Aviation. It is available by calling 303.379.0271, online at www.aircell.com, or from any Aircell representative.
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.