AirCell Announces Inflight Internet Access Partnership; Selects Formation, Inc. as Service Management Provider
New System to be Part of AirCell’s System to Deliver Inflight Broadband Connectivity Service Over U.S.
Moorestown, NJ (November 13, 2007)…AirCell, the leading wireless data and voice communications provider in aviation, announced today it has partnered with Formation, Inc. (Formation) to incorporate critical avionic hardware components in the AirCell Broadband System. Formation, which is based in Moorestown, NJ, has developed two critical hardware components of AirCells Broadband System that will help to deliver passengers inflight Internet connectivity. The hardware includes AirCells Central Processor Unit (ACPU) and the custom built Cabin Wireless Access Point (CWAP).
The CWAP provides 802.11a and 802.11b/g radios to be used by passengers with Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as laptops and smartphones. A typical commercial aircraft configuration would include one ACPU and two CWAPs per plane, in addition to other hardware including air-to-ground modem and antennas, to provide Internet connectivity to passengers. AirCell will use Formations hardware in combination with the companys own unique air-to-ground technology, which transmits and receives data between the ground and the aircraft at broadband speed, to enable high speed in-flight broadband Internet service
“Our strategy is to work with some of the leading suppliers of mobile communications technology,” said Anand Chari, Vice President, AirCell Broadband System Engineering. “Formation provides the right combination of market knowledge and technological competitiveness to help AirCell reach our goal of providing inflight Internet access to passengers in 2008.”
“Formation has developed more than 1,600 avionics class servers and 110,000 other avionic products for the top OEMs in the aircraft industry. This experience, coupled with our wireless technology innovation, made a partnership with AirCell a natural fit,” said R. Nim Evatt, Formations CEO. “To put it mildly, we are thrilled to be a part of this groundbreaking initiative.”
AirCell will begin testing Formations components as part of partnerships with American Airlines and Virgin America in early 2008. AirCells service will allow passengers to check e-mail, surf the Web, tap into an office network and stay current on the latest news, using either inflight entertainment systems or their own Wi-Fi enabled laptops, smartphones, PDAs, and portable gaming systems - while in flight.
AirCell is the leader in global airborne telecommunications for the Commercial and Business Aviation markets. The winner of the FCCs exclusive broadband frequency license in 2006, AirCell is pioneering a revolutionary new wireless broadband system for North America.
AirCell broadband system will include robust Wi-Fi hotspots that enable airline passengers to surf the Internet, use e-mail, and log on to their corporate VPNs using their personal Wi-Fi equipped devices. The system will also offer airline operational communications capabilities and provide a path to a wealth of future cabin services.
Set for introduction in 2008, the new broadband service will also be available to business aircraft operators, offering a similar set of features.
AirCell (www.AirCell.com) has facilities in Louisville, Colorado, and Itasca, Illinois, USA.
About Formation, Inc.
Formation, Inc. of Moorestown, NJ, USA designs and manufactures hardware and software products and provides related engineering services for the defense, aviation, data communications and transportation industries. Products include ToughDisk Rugged Hard Disks, Advanced Integrated Recorders, avionics-class servers, rugged wired and wireless networks. For information visit www.formation.com or call +1 856.234.5020.