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Aircell Selects LTE as 4G Wireless Standard for Inflight Connectivity
Posted: 17-Jul-2008 [Source: Aircell]

[Aircell announces LTE as technology path for delivering in-flight broadband connectivity.]

Itasca, IL -- AircellĀ®, the world's leading provider of airborne communications, today announced its intention to base its fourth generation (4G) mobile broadband network on Long Term Evolution (LTE), the emerging standard for advanced mobile broadband networks and services. Having pioneered the first commercial Inflight Internet service in North America, Aircell plans to deploy LTE to enable the next generation ultra-high bandwidth mobile services such as hi-definition and interactive TV and multi- player immersive gaming that passengers will come to expect. As Aircell migrates toward full LTE deployment, planned network and technology developments will enable Aircell to serve North American airlines with state- of-the-art mobile broadband technology.

Aircell's LTE announcement expands on the company's vision and leadership in the airborne communications market. With a 16-year history in airborne communications, Aircell's continuing innovation and leadership were confirmed recently by the company's demonstration of the first and only air-to-ground mobile broadband Inflight Internet solution for commercial airlines, Gogo(TM). Gogo turns a commercial airplane into a Wi-Fi hotspot, providing full Internet access - including Web, personal IM and email accounts and VPN access to corporate email and systems - to passengers with Wi-Fi enabled personal devices such as laptops, smartphones and PDAs.

Aircell is working with the standards organizations that support Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) and its global membership of networking, device and technology partners to advance the LTE standard that will enable Gogo to deliver unprecedented wireless broadband services. Aircell joins wireless giants AT&T, Verizon and Alltel in selecting LTE as the choice for 4G network technology. LTE will enable networks to deliver mobile data with greater speed, better throughput performance and lower latency. The end result is the availability of the ultra-high bandwidth mobile services and pervasive Internet that consumers are coming to expect.

"The 4G market is still evolving but one thing is for sure, passengers will want the same mobile broadband services in the air that they have on the ground," stated Joe Cruz, CTO, Aircell. "Aircell's choice of LTE ensures that our network will continue to support the services customers demand today and in the future. With LTE, Aircell's Air-to-Ground (ATG) Inflight Internet technology is future-proofed."

In addition, airline operations will benefit directly and significantly from Aircell's deployment of 4G technology, which will enable a wide array of powerful operational applications such as high-resolution weather-to-the- cockpit.

Aircell has pioneered ATG technology to deliver its mobile broadband service, Gogo, to the airplane cabin. Using an exclusive FCC frequency license, CDMA Evolution-Data Optimized (EV-DO) Rev A protocol and network optimization and acceleration technology, Aircell is able to deliver an effective data rate of more than 12 Mbps peak to Gogo-equipped aircraft. By the end of 2009, further advances in existing technologies will enable Aircell to deliver a raw data rate of up to 22.7 Mbps to aircraft. By the beginning of 2011, Aircell expects to deploy its 4G LTE network, which will enable a throughput of up to 300 Mbps to aircraft.

"The unique advantage of ATG inflight connectivity is its rapid scalability," continued Cruz. "Unlike satellite-based systems, which must contend with significant technology hurdles and a slow technology evolution path, ATG benefits from every ground-based advance in wireless technology. The result is a highly scalable, rapidly advancing inflight connectivity technology."

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