NBAA Convention News

ICG puts BlackBerry on Iridium server unit

 - September 30, 2008, 7:02 AM

International Communications Group (ICG) announced that its NxtMail Over Iridium global e-mail services are now available to users of Wi-Fi-enabled BlackBerry smartphones and Apple’s iPhone. To support the services, ICG has introduced a global Iridium satcom server capable of providing a wireless link that will enable BlackBerry and iPhone users to simply walk onto the airplane and start sending and receiving e-mail.

Jeff Saucedo, ICG v-p of sales, said the NxtMail server’s target market is operators of small and midsize business jets, noting, “The server had to be small, compact and lightweight to meet the needs of all our customers.” The 3.2-pound device carries a $17,600 retail price. Saucedo commented that, “The biggest question from BlackBerry users has been: Will it support both the BlackBerry Internet Service and Blackberry Enterprise Server? The answer is yes in both cases, plus other e-mail networks including Webmail, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail and Gmail.”

NxtMail Over Iridium provides global e-mail service and mobile Web browsing, with access for up to 10 passengers at once. ICG is at Booth No. 729 this week offering details on the company’s NxtLink Iridium transceiver and NxtMail server, and how they interface with wireless devices on the airplane. The NxtMail Server is available now after being STC’d by ICG in a Gulfstream IV. Any customers with ICG NxtLink Iridium satcom equipment already installed can add the NxtMail server to use their own handheld BlackBerry or iPhone devices through a wireless connection. Saucedo
explained, “Aircraft not already ICG-equipped will require any one of our NxtLink Iridium-based radios at [prices] ranging from $11,600 for a single-channel unit to $45,000 for a five-channel transceiver.”

He added, “The introduction of our NxtMail Server expands the type of aircraft that can offer this level of service. It offers truly affordable access for handheld devices, all the way down to the Learjet 45 and Gulfstream G150 class and up to BBJ operators. The NxtMail system is the least expensive e-mail solution in the industry.” User cost is a maximum of $90 per hour for the “always-on” mode at the highest per-minute rate of $1.50. The ICG NxtMail Server will interface with any Iridium service