AirCell-affiliated AC BidCo is poised to win an exclusive air-to-ground (ATG) spectrum licence from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that will enable it to deploy wireless broadband services on commercial flights.

One of three companies still participating in the FCC’s auction of 4MHz of spectrum in the 800MHz band allocated to ATG services, AC BidCo has placed a provisionally winning bid of $31.3 million for an exclusive 3MHz licence, says the FCC.

AC BidCo is the entity being used by Colorado-based AirCell and its new financial backer Ripplewood Holdings to participate in the auction.

The two other remaining bidders, JetBlue Airways subsidiary LiveTV and Space Data Spectrum, are still competing for a separate 1MHz licence. Verizon Airfone – which currently uses the 4MHz spectrum for its narrowband services – is no longer participating in the auction.

Source: Flight International