TrueNorth module adds smartphone email to existing airborne phones

TrueNorth Avionics has introduced TrueNorth Express, a compact, plug-in hardware module designed to let owners of virtually any brand of airborne telephone use their smartphones to send and receive emails worldwide over the Iridium satcom network, for a fraction of the cost of other systems.

Compatible with such systems as the single-channel Aircell ST3100 and multichannel Aircell Axxess systems, as well as phones from ICG and EMS Aviation, the TrueNorth Express unit offers walk-on-and-use-it support for all Wi-Fi enabled smartphones, including BlackBerry, iPhone, Android and other popular brands and operating systems. The introductory price is $10,995, with usage costs said to be much lower than those of other providers. The company says the modules are available now through TrueNorth itself or its exclusive North American distributor, Dallas Avionics.

“Basically, TrueNorth Express provides a self-contained Wi-Fi hot spot for email over smartphones,” explains Mark van Berkel, TrueNorth’s president. “We showed the prototype to a number of business aviation users and they immediately saw that it enhanced the value of their existing phones by allowing them to stay in touch worldwide, at any altitude."

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