Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Aircell Selects LTE as 4G Wireless Standard for Inflight Connectivity

Aircell will base its 4G mobile broadband network on Long Term Evolution (LTE). Specifically, Aircell said it intends to deploy LTE to enable the next generation ultra-high bandwidth mobile services such as hi-definition and interactive TV and multi- player immersive gaming for airline passengers.


"The 4G market is still evolving but one thing is for sure, passengers will want the same mobile broadband services in the air that they have on the ground," stated Joe Cruz, CTO, Aircell. "Aircell's choice of LTE ensures that our network will continue to support the services customers demand today and in the future. With LTE, Aircell's Air-to-Ground (ATG) Inflight Internet technology is future-proofed."


Using an exclusive FCC frequency license, CDMA Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) Rev A protocol and network optimization and acceleration technology, Aircell is able to deliver an effective data rate of more than 12 Mbps peak to aircraft equipped with its Gogo service. The company expects that by the end of 2009, further advances in will enable it to deliver a raw data rate of up to 22.7 Mbps to aircraft. By the beginning of 2011, Aircell expects to deploy its 4G LTE network, which will enable a throughput of up to 300 Mbps to aircraft.http://www.aircell.com

  • Earlier this month, Aircell closed on the third tranche of a package of equity and debt financing now totaling $265 million. The latest step is the closing of a $35 million senior secured term loan facility arranged by Scotia Capital, Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse, which rounds out the prior two-stage equity investment led by Ripplewood Holdings, a major private equity group, Blumenstein/Thorne Information Partners and other investment entities associated with investor/entrepreneur Oakleigh Thorne.


  • In April 2008, Aircell received two critical FAA approvals, clearing the way to launch its in-flight mobile broadband service over the U.S. Aircell is now the first and only communications operator to receive approvals from the FAA to provide air-to-ground (ATG) in-flight mobile broadband for U.S. domestic flights. The two FAA approvals received include a Supplemental Type Certificate (STC), permitting installation and operation of the company's ATG network on commercially operated Boeing 767-200 aircraft.


  • In January 2008, Aircell completed its nationwide wireless Air-To-Ground (ATG) network. As part of this build-out, the company constructed cell sites throughout the country. Placement of cell sites ranged from windy, snow topped mountain peaks at 12,000 feet to remote desert terrain below sea level. The company said network completion was accomplished far ahead of time requirements set by the company's FCC license agreement. The first site was activated on August 25, 2007 and the final site, which finalized the nationwide network, went live on January 29th, just five months later.

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