SmartSky 4G LTE initiates air-to-ground network deployment

SmartSky Networks, LLC, an aviation communications provider, has initiated deployment of the nation´s first airborne 4G LTE-based air-to-ground (ATG) network, the company said.

Using 60 MHz of spectrum and patented beamforming technology, SmartSky´s network will provide more than 10 times the typical speed and capacity of the current industry standard ATG network, and at a lower cost per bit, ushering in the new era of business-grade inflight connectivity as shown in this customer demonstrationflight video compilation.

The design and rollout of SmartSky´s patented infrastructure is being led by its veteran telecommunications team, building on extensive network and radio technology experience at companies such as Sprint, Nextel and Vanguard Cellular. With years of intensive research and development already completed, the company´s recently announced USD 170M Series B funding round jump-started the long lead-time implementation processes for roll-out of the US network.

Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, SmartSky Networks was formed in 2011 by senior aviation and telecommunications executives seeking to transform aviation using disruptive communications technologies. Working with aerospace and technology partners, SmartSky has begun the rollout of its innovative, air-to-ground network, SmartSky 4G LTE, and plans to initiate commercial services in mid-2018.

The network takes advantage of patented spectrum reuse, advanced beamforming technologies and 60 MHz of spectrum for significantly enhanced connectivity. SmartSky 4G LTE delivers data to the aircraft with speeds comparable to next generation satellite solutions and provides unmatched speeds for data transmissions from the aircraft.