SmartSky Networks has announced that its next-generation mobile broadband network for the USA is now live. Hundreds of sites have been deployed to optimise performance for business aviation across the continental USA.
“This is a momentous achievement,” said SmartSky CEO, Dave Helfgott. “Our service brings a new level of connectivity and capability to the business aviation industry that transcends any solution previously available, particularly in the ATG sector.”
SmartSky’s network uses the unlicenced 2.4GHz spectrum band, combining 4G and 5G technologies with the aim of optimising scalability, transmission range, and power to and from the aircraft, even in high-interference environments over congested cities.
“As we complete entry into service, our initial customers are flying and using the service to send data off the aircraft as easily as they stream it on,” said SmartSky president, Ryan Stone. “In concert, our world-class engineering team is using our software-defined network infrastructure to continuously fine-tune for optimal performance and coverage.”
SmartSky’s air-to-ground (ATG) network enables aircraft to use 60MHz of unlicenced spectrum for data flow to and from the aircraft for passengers, flight crews and aircraft operations. Incorporating input from aviation industry partners, SmartSky’s antennas and onboard radio are designed to be lightweight and easy to install.
With STCs complete for many popular models of business aviation aircraft, SmartSky’s partners are installing the company’s hardware on individual and fleet aircraft. Additional STCs for more aircraft types are nearing completion with the FAA. Customers have a choice of service plans, with monthly data allowance levels from 5GB to unlimited, and discounts for pre-payment and multi-year commitments.