WASHINGTON, DC [AEA Annual Convention] – April 24, 2008 – Aircell® announces that it has begun taking orders for broadband in the business aviation market. The company is offering solutions over two networks – the Aircell Mobile Broadband Network in North America and Inmarsat SwiftBroadband on a global basis. In addition, operators can choose from a variety of equipment packages, based on their aircraft type, desired features, and area of geographic coverage needed. Aircell’s first deliveries for broadband in the business aviation market will be in the third quarter of 2008.
“We’re proud to offer two distinct broadband services to the business aviation market – one for North America using advanced mobile wireless technology, and the other for a global market using satellite technology,” said Jack Blumenstein, Aircell President & CEO. “We live in an ‘always-on’ world and these new services will offer affordable broadband connectivity to thousands of aircraft around the world for the very first time,” he concluded.
Here is a summary of broadband network and equipment options available from Aircell:
North American Service – Aircell Broadband
Last month, Aircell announced the completion and full operational readiness of the Aircell Mobile Broadband Network, the nation’s first wireless network designed specifically to provide mobile broadband services to commercial and business aircraft passengers flying over the U.S. The Aircell Network enables full corporate and personal email, web surfing, and VPN access at mobile broadband speeds, using passengers’ own Wi-Fi laptops and smartphones. In addition to serving business aviation, the Aircell Network powers Gogo™, Aircell’s inflight Internet service for airline passengers. Gogo will soon launch aboard the world’s largest airline, American Airlines®, and one of America’s newest airlines, Virgin America®.
Aircell is offering two business aviation equipment options for service over the Aircell Network:
• For Heavy Aircraft. Available beginning in the third quarter of 2008, this equipment package is being offered with the industry’s first flat-fee, unlimited service plan, which for the very first time, will allow an unlimited number of passengers access to all provided broadband services, with no restrictions on session time, number of log-ins, or amount of data transferred. Operators purchasing this system will receive six months of unlimited service for the introductory price of $1,495/month.
• For Medium & Light Aircraft. Order-taking for this equipment package will begin later this year. Available beginning in the second quarter of 2009, this system will be offeredas a modular add-on to the Aircell Axxess® cabin system. The single broadband LRU willbe 4 MCU or less. Service plans available for this system will be announced later thisyear and are expected to include Aircell’s groundbreaking, flat-fee/unlimited accessplan, as well as options for flight departments with lower utilization needs.
Global Service – SwiftBroadband
SwiftBroadband is Inmarsat’s global, next-generation aeronautical service that will offer global inflight voice and data connectivity at up to 432kbps per channel (depending on antenna choice). SwiftBroadband service coverage is currently available across the Americas, Africa, Europe and Asia, and will be available on a worldwide basis following the upcoming launch of the third Inmarsat-4 satellite.
Powered by Thrane & Thrane and available late in 2008, Aircell’s SwiftBroadband solution will offer global email, Internet, voice service and more, in the smallest and lightest Inmarsat equipment package ever offered. Sold and fully supported through Aircell and its worldwide dealer and distributor network, it includes a dual LRU system – one being 2 MCU and the other, approximately 1 MCU. The system’s standard intermediate-gain antenna provides connection speeds up to 332kbps. High-gain antenna options are also available which enable speeds up to 432kbps. A number of upgrade opportunities are available from existing Inmarsat-based systems in the field. Aircell’s SwiftBroadband solution is being offered as a modular add-on to the Aircell Axxess cabin communication system, or as a standalone.
About Aircell LLC
Aircell® is the world’s leading provider of airborne communications. As winner of an exclusive FCC frequency license in 2006, Aircell has built a revolutionary new mobile broadband network for commercial and business aviation. In 2008, the Aircell Network and its inflight portal, known as Gogo™, will revolutionize the commercial airline passenger flight experience, delivering a robust Internet experience at 35,000 feet. The Aircell Network will also provide airlines with connectivity to operations and a path to enhanced cabin services such as video, audio, television, cellular voice, cellular data and more. Business aircraft operators will be offered a similar feature set in a variety of equipment packages. Aircell has facilities in Louisville, Colorado, and Itasca, Illinois. Aircell’s vision is to give everyone the ability to stay in touch, in flight®. For more information about Aircell, please visit www.aircell.com.