Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has officially granted the frequency license that will enable AirCell to provide exclusive broadband connectivity to U.S. airlines and business aircraft, beginning in early 2008.
AirCell’s receipt of its new broadband license marks the completion of an air-to-ground spectrum reallocation process set in motion by the FCC more than three years ago and follows the auction earlier this year in which AirCell emerged as the winning bidder.
The formal issuance of the FCC license is an important milestone on AirCell’s aggressive path to introduce its groundbreaking array of wireless broadband services for domestic airlines and business aircraft.
Jack W. Blumenstein, AirCell President & CEO, said, “Receiving this exclusive air-to-ground broadband license is a historic event in the airborne telecommunications industry. In just over a year, the flying public will have the ability to use their own Wi-Fi-enabled laptops and PDA’s to communicate just like they do on the ground.”
At initial launch in the airline market, AirCell’s broadband service will include robust Wi-Fi hotspots that allow airline passengers to surf the Internet, use e-mail, and log on to their corporate VPN’s using their personal 802.11b/g-equipped Wi-Fi data devices. The system will also offer airline operational communications capabilities and provide a path to a wealth of future cabin services.
The new AirCell broadband service will also be available to business aircraft operators, offering a similar set of broadband features. Customers that currently have an AirCell Axxess? communications system aboard their aircraft can easily add the new AirCell broadband link by installing the appropriate radio and a small, air-to-ground antenna.
AirCell’s new license means that it will be the exclusive service provider in the United States for its new broadband service. It is also expected that broadband service throughout Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean will be introduced at or shortly after service launch in the U.S.
Additional program updates and announcements will come regularly as development of AirCell’s broadband service continues.