Posted on: 20 October 2010 by Ross McSweeny
TrueNorth Avionics is teaming with LiveTV Airfone and Satcom Direct to develop what it calls the next-generation Magnastar system enabling the first terrestrial network encompassing voice, data, Wi-Fi, smart phone support, e-mail, text messages and multi-channel VoIP.
The new system will be available in 2011 and will be based on a hardware concept derived from TrueNorth’s open-architecture Simphone OpenCabin system. It will be available both to new customers and as an upgrade for existing Magnastar operators.
Satcom Direct will manage the service which will include Airfone’s current voice and data services while adding Iridium satellite communications when the aircraft is out of range of Magnastar ground stations.
The system hardware is being co-developed by TrueNorth and LiveTV by combining a new Magnastar radio with TrueNorth’s advanced Simphone OpenCabin telecom solution. It will use LiveTV’s exclusive 1 MHz air-to-ground frequency licence, which provides a dedicated spectrum allocation for these capabilities.
Kathryn Creedy, US correspondent, Inflight/Inflight Online