AeroMobile has confirmed the first cellular operation of eXPhone over Panasonic Avionics' Ku-band link, representing a key engineering development milestone for the mobile connectivity solution.
The engineering test setup, located at AeroMobile's Crawley, UK-based connectivity lab, comprised a full eXPhone aviation hardware complement connected to a Panasonic broadband controller (avionic server).
The server provides a link to the Ku-band antenna and related sub-system, located on AeroMobile's office roof. The broadband controller hosts Panasonic's comprehensive communications management software.
AeroMobile chief commercial officer Peter Tuggey tells ATI and Flightglobal that 14 simultaneous cellular voice calls were established in parallel with data traffic.
"The traffic transited Panasonic's Ku network, terminating within AeroMobile's network switch in Norway, for onward delivery into the cellular network. This specific test formed part of a customer requirement," says Tuggey.
"This was a milestone achievement for us and demonstrates the maturity of our development, necessary to support a number of airline commitments later this year."
AeroMobile and Panasonic have secured a growing number of airline commitments for eXPhone, which is offered as both a standalone product over Inmarsat's L-band aeronautical services, and as part of Panasonic's broader Ku-band-based Global Communications Suite (GCS), which comprises in-flight high-speed Internet, mobile phone service and live television.
Lufthansa is among the publicly-announced customers that will offer Panasonic's high-speed Internet and mobile connectivity via Ku satellites.