ARINC To Showcase Airborne Broadband Internet Service
Move over, Connexion by Boeing. Annapolis, Md.-based ARINC Inc. plans to roll out a high-capacity satellite broadband system for commercial airlines that will be demonstrated at the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) conference in Seattle next month.
The new commercial SKYLink system is under consideration for purchase by several potential airline customers. Four domestic airlines already have expressed interest, and a second round of talks is underway with three of them, confirmed Robert Thompson, senior director of ARINC Satellite Services. Details and preliminary pricing of the system will be released at the conference scheduled for Sept. 21-24.
SKYLink for commercial aircraft is designed to be smaller, cheaper, lighter and more capable than the other airline broadband systems currently available, Thompson said. The company began offering Ku-band satellite broadband for business jets in 2003 through a 35-pound SKYLink avionics and antenna package. The satellite coverage went live in North America in April, and business jets equipped with the service now have two-way broadband connectivity from coast to coast.