Boeing has been inundated by requests from business jet operators for information about its Connexion broadband satellite communications system since the widely publicized trial launch of the service in January aboard a Lufthansa 747-400.
Hoping to cash in on new types of airborne communications capabilities, Airbus has combined forces with SITA and Tenzing to form an in-flight service called OnAir, the European airframe integrator announced last month. Starting next year, the joint venture will offer broadband Internet connections and satcom service, with the eventual goal being airborne personal cellphone links by 2006.
Emirates Airline is on track by year-end to be the first carrier in the world to allow its passengers to make calls using their own mobile phones with the AeroMobile system. Earlier this year, AeroMobile, a joint venture between U.S.-based Arinc and Norway’s Telenor, completed a successful trial of the system with Australian carrier Qantas, and it is now ready for full revenue-service use.
The new TopFlight satellite data unit (SDU) from Thales is small, light and affordable enough to bring satellite communications to single-aisle and regional airliners.
Thales Aerospace hopes a proactive approach to customer services will help it both win repeat business for its avionics and in-flight entertainment (IFE) systems and sustain the investment needed to develop new products.
The Federal Communications Commission has said it won’t continue exploring the feasibility of allowing passengers to use their personal cellphones to make calls in flight, basing its decision on concerns raised by cellular providers over possible airborne interference with ground networks.
Satellite TV for less than $100,000? That’s the deal being offered by in-flight entertainment specialist Flight Display Systems (FDS), an Alpharetta, Ga.-based cabin electronics manufacturer, which last month unveiled an all-new satellite TV system for business airplanes called Ellipse Direct.
PGA Electronic, based in Montierchaume, France, announced it will deliver its first full digital version of the Paradize 3 cabin management and entertainment system early next year. The new digital system will link all the aircraft’s in-flight entertainment and cabin lighting components, including PGA’s own on-demand audio and video.
AirCell is at NBAA 2007 heralding next year’s launch of new broadband services as modular options to its Axxess cabin system. The company is at Booth No. 1630 offering details about its own broadband system, which will operate domestically over the exclusive, dedicated frequencies the FCC awarded to AirCell last year, as well as the Inmarsat SwiftBroadband service offering global in-flight voice and data at up to 432 kbps per channel.
Mid Continent Controls (Booth No. 4926) is displaying its in-flight entertainment technology with new media disc players capable of reading DVDs from all geographic regions as well as compact, video compact, MP3, DVD+RW and DVD-RW discs.