Aircell taps LTE for next-gen inflight services

Following the likes of CDMA operator Verizon Wireless, which will deploy LTE as its 4G technology, in-flight communications provider Aircell said the future of its mobile broadband network will be based on LTE (Long Term Evolution) as well.

Today, the company's Gogo service uses CDMA 1xEV-DO Rev. A technology, which enables the company to offer its air-to-ground data service at a data rate of more than 12 Mbps peak to Gogo-equipped aircraft. By the end of 2009, further advances to EV-DO will enable Aircell to deliver a raw data rate of up to 22.7 Mbps to aircraft. And by the start of 2011, Aircell expects to deploy its 4G LTE network, which will enable a throughput of up to 300 Mbps to aircraft.

The company says LTE will enable in-flight services such as hi-definition and interactive television as well as multi-player gaming. Aircell said it also chose LTE as a way to future-proof its air-to-ground technology. Airlines will also benefit from LTE because the technology will allow them to enhance their operations by offering applications such as high-resolution weather to the cockpit, the company said.

The company's customers so far include Virgin America and American Airlines.

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