LOUISVILLE, CO – August 17, 2006 – Aircell, Inc. today announced Aircell Axxess™ EZ, a revolutionary new satellite communications system designed to efficiently replace the MagnaStar® airborne telephone, which will soon be obsolete due to the service termination announced recently by Verizon Airfone.
The newest member of the popular Aircell Axxess family of satcom systems, Aircell Axxess EZ was specifically designed to reuse the MagnaStar’s existing aircraft wiring and component locations. This can reduce aircraft downtime by as much as 50% when compared with traditional installations – with no feature or performance penalty. In addition, Aircell Axxess EZ also gives operators the option of retaining key legacy system features, such as call alerting and integrated fax capability, when replacing their MagnaStar.
“Aircell Axxess EZ is the fastest, most capable and convenient Magnastar-replacement solution on the market,” said Jack Blumenstein, Aircell President & CEO. “It allows aircraft to get back into service quickly, and is another great example of Aircell’s commitment to providing innovative communications solutions for customers.”
Choosing Aircell Axxess EZ as a MagnaStar-replacement system also gives operators a rapid path to Aircell’s new air-to-ground broadband service that will debut in late 2007. Aircell’s recent FCC auction victory means that it will be the exclusive service provider for the groundbreaking new broadband service. Available in the future as an optional add-on to Aircell Axxess systems, the new link will offer broadband speeds in the cabin comparable to a home office or small business – while being significantly lighter and less expensive than traditional satellite-based data connections.
Aircell Axxess EZ will be offered through Aircell’s worldwide dealer network. Shipments are scheduled to begin on October 31, 2006.
The announcement of Aircell Axxess EZ is particularly relevant in light of Verizon’s recent announcement that it will terminate MagnaStar service on December 4, 2006, unless a suitable buyer can be found for the company’s general aviation business. This service termination may leave thousands of business and government aircraft without an airborne telecommunications system.
Aircell Axxess EZ is the newest product in the Aircell Axxess family of satcom systems. Aircell Axxess EZ is a latest-generation, multi-channel, satcom system designed for medium-to-large business aircraft. With its “network neutral” design philosophy, Aircell Axxess EZ equips aircraft with a modular, flexible cabin architecture that serves the operator’s needs today, and provides the ability to upgrade as new technologies and links become available in the years to come.
Aircell Axxess EZ comes standard with two built-in channels of Iridium satellite communications for quality, worldwide voice and narrowband data services with full PBX functionality. Also standard are Aircell’s new, FAA-certified handsets with large, color displays – an industry first – as well as advanced noise reduction technology and standard ear bud/headset jacks for clear, quiet calling. Wireless capabilities include a full 802.11b/g Wi-Fi “hotspot” which, when paired with a broadband connection, can be used to operate personal laptops, PDA’s and other Wi-Fi devices in the cabin.
By using Aircell Axxess EZ’s integrated expansion ports, up to two additional Iridium channels can be added to suit an operator’s needs. Additional system capabilities are coming on line regularly.
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.