As most of its customers know by now, AirCell no longer actively markets airborne cellular systems, mainly because new digital cellular technology is rendering much of its existing analog-based ground network obsolete–but that doesn’t mean the AirCell name is a misnomer.
OnAir, the inflight voice and data communications joint venture among Airbus, SITA and Tenzing, will not pursue business aircraft installations for the time being. The company has said that it will focus exclusively on the airline sector.
Matsushita Avionics Systems might not be a company with which many people are intimately familiar, but chances are most of the business aviation industry will know quite a lot about MAS soon enough. A top supplier of in-flight entertainment systems to the airlines for more than 25 years, the Bothell, Wash.-based cabin avionics supplier this year is making its first serious foray into the business aviation IFE market.
During a short trip aloft from Newcastle International Airport in Northern England, passengers along for a demonstration flight aboard a Boeing Business Jet were treated to a sampling of top stories from BBC World News, courtesy of in-flight entertainment system supplier Airia. But they weren’t able to switch over to watch their favorite sitcoms or game shows.
Aircraft passengers should be able to use their own cellphones in flight safely and conveniently before the end of this year through a new service developed jointly by satellite operator Inmarsat, aircraft communication systems specialist Arinc and mobile telephone service provider Telenor.
Today’s world, including the business jet, is all about being connected. The executives now moving into the cabins of these aircraft are more aware than any previous generation of the need to stay in touch with events below.
These are customers for whom being isolated for just a few hours can cost a deal. Every day, in every way, they are connected–to the office, the broker, the stock market, the clients, and to the wife and kids.
The Boeing 777-200LR making its airshow debut here this week is to be fitted with AeroMobile mobile cellular technology later this year. The 777-200LR here is the second prototype and is being used primarily for interior certification. AeroMobile, the result of a partnership formed by Arinc and Telenor, is designed to leverage Inmarsat’s “classic” Aero-H, -H+ and -I satellite communications services currently available.
In what is being billed as the biggest such deal in airline history, Air Canada has picked Thales as its supplier-of-choice for in-flight entertainment systems across its fleet of 241 airplanes. The Thales IFE system, called TopFlight i-4500, will be fitted in Airbus, Boeing, Embraer and Bombardier models flown by the airline.
The Boeing 777-200LR Worldliner which made a record flight between Hong Kong and London earlier this month was equipped with technology from AeroMobile, a joint venture between Arinc and Telenor, enabling passengers to use cell phones en route.
The FCC has approved AirCell’s air-to-ground frequency license, clearing the way for the Louisville, Colo. company to begin rolling out the ground infrastructure to support its new broadband communications service.