SmartSky announced today the completion of all technical milestones and the opening of the first fully operational coverage zone of its next-generation inflight communications network, enabling route-based flight demonstrations and marking an inflection point on its path to certification and commercial launch later this year.
SmartSky has now proven it can provide office-grade, bi-directional, multi-Mbps inflight connectivity with very low latency for business jet and turboprop flights transiting the network’s Southeastern corridor that covers a large contiguous portion of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina.
SmartSky CEO, David Helfgott, remarked, “While our primary goal remains lighting up the remainder of the nationwide network in the coming months, today we are showcasing the unparalleled inflight networking capabilities and advanced services that SmartSky is bringing to market for the connected aircraft ecosystem of operators, manufacturers, service providers and passengers.”
Months of successful field testing have ensured that the entire system performs to specification. Extensive technical milestones have been achieved including seamless site-to-site handover across varying speeds, altitudes, and ranges with consistently high data throughput above both rural and densely populated urban areas. SmartSky’s patented beamforming and spectrum re-use technologies successfully performed across sectors and sites throughout the entire corridor, proving the novel network’s design functions well even in the presence of high signal noise from ground-based Wi-Fi systems.
“It’s a testament to the strength of our technical team and supplier-partners, as together we’ve successfully developed and fielded a feature-complete, game-changing service based on an optimal mix of proven 4G LTE and emerging 5G technologies that have been adapted to and optimized for the aviation use-case,” said Dave Claassen, SmartSky’s Chief Technology Officer.
Protected by a portfolio of over 200 patents, SmartSky’s innovative use of secure, scalable beamforming technology and unlicensed spectrum delivers an unequalled service experience and unique advantages for inflight communications. From office-grade Wi-Fi to real-time maintenance-related data and inflight trajectory management, operators, manufacturers, service providers, and passengers will benefit from a safer, more efficient, and more comfortable flying experience.
SmartSky Networks was founded to transform aviation through disruptive communications services, technologies, and related tools. SmartSky is rolling out its innovative air-to-ground network in 2021. The network takes advantage of patented spectrum reuse, advanced beamforming technologies and 60 MHz of spectrum for significantly enhanced connectivity. SmartSky’s network uniquely enables an “office in the sky” experience with unmatched capacity for data transmissions both to and from the aircraft. This real-time, low latency, bidirectional data link makes SmartSky the best in-flight user experience, and a key enabler for new and enhanced applications and services.