Learn More: Commercial Aviation
Inflight Connectivity for Commercial Aviation
High speed, low latency, and bidirectional throughput makes the SmartSky network a visionary in the industry. The network uses patented spectrum reuse, advanced beamforming technologies and 60 MHz of spectrum for an unparalleled passenger experience. It delivers an exceedingly fast forward-link to the aircraft and unmatched return-link speeds for data transmissions off the aircraft. The beamforming technology allows the network to avoid interference and hear signals clearly. SmartSky’s patented beamforming design sets a new airborne performance standard. By allocating one beam per aircraft, high speeds are maintained even on high density flight routes. Easily scalable as demand increases and unrivaled performance through beamforming technology makes SmartSky stand out from other networks in the ATG industry. The radio and antennas can be used with all commercial airline installations to deliver its industry leading system.
LATENCY AND RETURN LINK
Current satellite and ATG solutions hinder operational apps and services that demand bidirectional high bandwidth and low latency. By design, those systems allocate the majority of their bandwidth in the forward link delivering data to the aircraft. SmartSky stands apart as no other IFC service offers a comparable return link to offload data from the aircraft. SmartSky has engineered a return link with the same performance levels as the forward link. This allows the network to support time critical, low latency operational applications affording savings in both direct operating expense and cost of ownership.
LATENCY AND RETURN LINK
Current satellite and ATG solutions hinder operational apps and services that demand bidirectional high bandwidth and low latency. By design those systems allocate the majority of their bandwidth in the forward link delivering data to the aircraft. SmartSky 4G LTE stands apart as no other IFC service offers a comparable return link to offload data from the aircraft. SmartSky has engineered a return link with the same performance levels as the forward link. This allows the network to support time critical, low latency operational applications affording savings in both direct operating expense and cost of ownership.
COST, FEEDS, AND SPEEDS
SmartSky delivers multi-gigabytes per hour, bidirectional data rates. Passenger speeds meet or beat most Ka/Ku satellite systems. The SmartSky network offers low latency connectivity (<100 ms) which generates faster page loads and seamless real-time two-way communications delivering an exceptional passenger experience. SmartSky equipment is small and lightweight, making it an ideal solution for all types of domestic aircraft including smaller regional aircraft. The system can be installed quickly and has very low drag, providing lower operating costs for airlines when compared to satellite solutions. By supplementing SmartSky ATG with satellite IFC, SmartSky can optimize bandwidth, support least cost routing, and take advantage of SmartSky’s substantial return link with low latency required by some applications. For commercial airlines, SmartSky can provide multiple VPNs from operations to aircraft for operational efficiencies like flight path optimization, turbulence avoidance and data management. A new level of speed and reliability is being brought to commercial aviation connectivity because of SmartSky Networks.
HYBRID SOLUTIONS COMBINE SATELLITE AND ATG
THE WAVE OF THE FUTURE
For flights outside the US, having both Satellite and ATG installed on the aircraft is an excellent way to provide connectivity with optimal service and substantially reduce connectivity operating costs. The SmartSky network is designed for hybrid solutions and integrates easily with existing and future satellite IFC infrastructure. When both satellite and SmartSky are onboard, Cabin Wi-Fi Access Points (CWAPs) approved for use with SmartSky work to provide optimal routing between the ATG and satellite connection.
Benefits of hybrid solutions:
While satellites provide connectivity outside the US with speed in the forward link to the aircraft, their return links to get data off the aircraft are severely limited. SmartSky delivers optimal bidirectional high bandwidth data transfers. The SmartSky network also provides extremely low latency, which enables applications for real-time communications. This low latency is the result of the design for the air-to-ground connection, as well as the Virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) utilized on the ground.
Costs and savings with hybrid solutions:
Integrating a satellite solution with the SmartSky network is affordable and can save ongoing connectivity costs. While satellite unit price per MB can be 5x higher than the SmartSky network, the satellite equipment costs are also 5-10x that of SmartSky. Combining the savings on data costs using optimal cost routing via the CWAP, coupled with the low costs of SmartSky installation can save upwards of $1M in expenses through least cost routing over a ten year period for the typical heavy business jet and even more on airlines due to their higher utilization. Further, this is the net savings, as it is inclusive of the incremental capital cost of adding the SmartSky system to an aircraft already equipped with a satellite IFC solution.