Gulfstream Selects SkyLink Broadband System

 - May 7, 2008, 4:55 AM

In a major vote of confidence for Arinc’s new SkyLink airborne broadband data service, Gulfstream announced it is buying 40 complete systems for installation in customer airplanes. This is the launch order for the system, which Arinc claims offers Internet connections that are five times faster and a third the price of Inmarsat’s rival Swift64 service. Tom Mullan, Arinc senior director for in-flight passenger systems, said SkyLink is now achieving connection rates of around 540 kbps. By the time the service goes fully operational during the second quarter of next year, it is expected to deliver data rates as high as eight to 10 mbps. The Annapolis, Md.-based company plans to sell monthly subscription packages similar in concept to those offered in the cellphone market–equating to connection costs of around $3.33 per minute, said Mullan. The system is undergoing initial flight testing aboard a Citation X.