NBAA Convention News

TrueNorth Router OK’d for SmartSky 4G

 - October 31, 2016, 6:05 PM

The Optelity Pro Cabin Gateway from TrueNorth Avionics, which is being acquired by Satcom Direct, has been approved by SmartSky Networks for the in-development SmartSky 4G LTE air-to-ground network, the company announced this week at NBAA 2016. The 4G LTE network will allow “fast, unlimited streaming of content such as HD movies to multiple devices on the largest business jets,” according to SmartSky, which plans to commence operations later this year. The company says its service will offer 10 times the speeds of current air-to-ground networks.

“Achieving the FCC’s authorization for this network is an essential advance in the world of cabin communication systems,” said TrueNorth CEO Mark van Berkel. “We’re excited to see the success of this new in-flight connectivity solution. Purchasers will appreciate that they can buy an Optelity Pro Cabin Gateway today knowing that it will be ready when the SmartSky network goes live.”

“The Optelity Pro Cabin Gateway is a flexible, modular system with integrated routing capabilities, along with aviation certified Wi-Fi and telephony,” according to TrueNorth (Booth 664).

“Increasingly aircraft are operating networks of networks, just like on the ground,” said TrueNorth COO Steve Newell. “An increasing number of aircraft owners are opting to have three, four or five airborne networks.”

According to Ryan Stone, president of Melbourne, Fla.-based SmartSky Networks (Booth 2626), “We opted for an open ecosystem to enable partnering…allowing customers to choose from the best available cabin wireless access points. Optelity Pro permits customers to create a customized hybrid in-flight connectivity solution with intelligent routing.”

The Optelity Cabin Gateway offers Wi-Fi, high-fidelity telephony with a full-featured VoIP PBX and enterprise e-mail and seamless connectivity for smartphones and other devices, said TrueNorth. Optelity Pro has two Iridium voice channels and dual-band simultaneous 802.11ac and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi.

In addition, the Optelity Hot Spot is available for light to midsize jets and turboprops so that passengers and pilots can use their mobile and other devices in flight. “It is business aviation’s smallest, lightest wireless access point, fitting in the palm of your hand and weighing just a pound and a half,” said the company.