In a step that signals SmartSky’s progress towards the launch of service on its U.S. air-to-ground inflight connectivity network, the Federal Communications Commission has certified the radiohead for the ground-based towers that will serve the company's airborne customers. SmartSky expects to launch commercial service later this year.
The network’s hardware and software, including airborne transceivers and the terrestrial network infrastructure are “feature complete,” according to SmartSky. Airborne service opened earlier this year in the southeast corridor, although formal commercial launch awaits more complete expansion of the terrestrial network.
SmartSky has developed value-added reseller relationships for connectivity services and partnerships for supplemental type certificate development and installation of airborne hardware in a variety of business aircraft. Recently, SmartSky announced that it selected Honeywell as a VAR for connectivity service in North America.
“Deployment of the FCC-certified tower radios for our network, coupled with the availability of our shipset products (high-performance antennas, aircraft radios), gives our service-partners and dealers great confidence to begin accepting orders,” said SmartSky CEO David Helfgott. “We are already seeing increased interest and demand with the business aviation markets rebounding ahead of schedule in 2021.”