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Aircell High Speed Internet takes flight in business aviation

Aircell has received full FAA certification (STC and PMA) for its new High Speed Internet system in the business aviation market. Shipments have commenced three months ahead of schedule, with the system’s first installation completed by Midcoast Aviation on a Bombardier Challenger 605 operated by a Midwest-based flight department.

Powered by the Aircell Network, the system allows passengers and crews to use their own WiFi-enabled devices (such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs) to surf the web, send and receive email with attachments, instant message, access corporate VPNs and more – all in flight at full mobile broadband speeds. The Aircell Network uses the latest 3G mobile wireless technology, operating in the continental USA over a network of ground stations and Aircell’s broadband air-to-ground spectrum.

Aircell says its proprietary system provides high-speed internet access for passengers while being small and light enough to fit on virtually any business aircraft. The business aviation unit (ATG 4000) weighs 11 lb, with two belly-mounted antennae weighing 1.25 lb each.

The ATG 4000 system is a modular add-on to the Aircell Axxess cabin system. For connecting passenger devices in the cabin, customers can choose to install wired or WiFi connections as part of their installation. In addition, Aircell is offering its satellite-based SwiftBroadband product (powered by Thrane & Thrane) for global service, which it says will be available in July.

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