AirCell tests airborne broadband

 - July 24, 2007, 9:21 AM

AirCell reports it has successfully completed the initial phase of flight testing for a new airborne telecommunications link, which is claimed to provide average data speeds in flight of 300- to 500 kilobytes per second and peak rates up to 2.4 megabytes per second.

AirCell wants to develop a broadband system that will let passengers use their next-generation personal cellular telephones and other wireless devices in flight. Using proprietary intellectual property and the company’s aeronautical network, AirCell plans to deploy a nationwide network to support the service in the continental U.S. in the next 18 to 24 months.

The initial phase of flight testing was successfully completed using a specially equipped business jet and a modified ground-based cellular station. Thetesting was conducted on air-to-ground frequencies under special temporary authorization from the Federal Communications Commission. Data uploads and downloads were demonstrated, and the results were confirmed at various altitudes and airspeeds, according to AirCell.