AirCell Makes Wireless ‘Axxess-able’
AirCell displayed the newly certified wireless function of its Axxess flagship satcom system at last month’s NBAA Convention. Axxess was certified in April and hardware already exists in systems currently in service to allow a field software upgrade that will activate the wireless function mode. In addition, said AirCell president and CEO Jack Blumenstein, AirCell has also successfully completed integration testing to allow operators to add their choice of Inmarsat data connections to AirCell Axxess. The wireless approval and Inmarsat integration, said Blumenstein, “continues to fulfill the vision we had for AirCell Axxess from the very beginning; the system’s modularity and expandability is tremendous.” With the wireless function enabled, Axxess provides an 802.11b/g wireless hotspot aboard the airplane. When a broadband connection (such as Inmarsat or AirCell broadband) is installed, passengers can use 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 virtual private network (VPN). AirCell’s new Wi-Fi handsets, already certified, will be available in the spring and are designed to interface with Axxess wireless capabilities with no additional adaptation.