Aircell Sets Prices for Broadband Internet Service

 - October 2, 2008, 12:22 PM

Aircell is introducing two pricing plans for its air-to-ground broadband Internet service. The first, for those who seek e-mail and “light” Internet access using a BlackBerry or other Wi-Fi-enabled PDA, will cost $895 a month for an always-available link. Faster Internet access, at download speeds averaging approximately two megabits per second, will cost $1,995 per month. Aircell broadband equipment is currently being installed aboard the first customer business jet–a Bombardier Global Express–but it is a version of the hardware originally developed for the air transport market. The gear weighs 125 pounds and requires three fuselage-mounted antennas. Due to hit the market next spring is the business aviation version of the system, which links through Aircell’s Axxess cabin communication unit and weighs in at 23 pounds. It requires the installation of two seven-inch blade antennas on the airplane’s belly. Total price for this system, including the Axxess unit with an internal two-channel Iridium satcom receiver, will run about $85,000 plus installation, according to Aircell.