Press Release
Press Release

WI-SKY expects ‘end of year’ launch for WiMAX inflight broadband
WI-SKY expects ‘end of year’ launch for WiMAX inflight broadband
April 01, 2008

Wi-SKY Inflight, Inc. in early April plans to conduct the third proof of concept inflight tests of its WiMAX broadband inflight air-to-ground communication system.
The system could be operational on selected flight paths by the end of 2008, according to Grant Sharp, Wi-SKY Inflight President.

Pax Access Fee for Log-on Passengers with Wi-Fi-enabled laptop computers would log on and pay an access fee as they would with an onground Wi-Fi hot spot.

The WiMAX connection is distributed onboard via a Wi-Fi network. Exact pricing of the service has not been determined, but Sharp anticipates a fee of US$10 for flights longer than two hours and less for shorter flights.

High-End Internet Features Wi-SKY Inflight will offer airline passengers all Internet services, including “highend services” such as video conferencing, video downloading, large data file transfers, and Skype phone calls (if permitted in flight), Sharp said.

This is possible, he said, because WiMAX technology provides greater throughput capability than previous wireless alternatives.

Network Build-out “WiMAX is 10 times more powerful than a cellular signal,” Sharp said, “so approximately 300 towers would provide coverage to all aircraft flying throughout the continental US.” Wi-SKY Inflight plans to build out its WiMAX network to meet the specific route requirements of its airline customers.

The network can be built quickly by placing the ground base-station on the roof of a chain store with many outlets and “hooking up” with the store’s T-3 connection. Another option is to piggy-back onto the towers of a cellular carrier that doesn’t plan to offer its services to the airline industry.

Onboard ‘Box,’ Antenna Onboard equipment will include a radio and Wi-Fi board housed in a box about the size of a PC case and weighing approximately 15 pounds, according to Sharp.
“The antenna will consist of four small finger-size fins mounted on the fuselage of the plane.

Wiring will run from the external fin antennae to the system box, and from the system box to the Wi-Fi access points throughout the plane,” Sharp said. Wi-SKY Networks in March licensed its proprietary patent-pending technology for WiMAX broadband inflight communication to Wi-SKY Inflight, Inc.