Following US telecommunications giant Verizon's decision to terminate its Airfone air-to-ground communications service by the end of the year, AirCell has introduced the Axxess EZ satellite-based system as a replacement for MagnaStar airborne telephones in business aircraft that use the network.

MagnaStar provider Teledyne Controls has told customers Verizon will terminate its service on 4 December "if the air-ground service is not purchased and maintained by another party". The company says it intends to offer customers solutions that allow the installed equipment to remain in use.

AirCell says its Access EZ is designed to use the existing MagnaStar wiring and component locations, reducing aircraft downtime. The system will provide two channels of Iridium satellite communications for voice and narrowband data. Shipments are scheduled to begin at the end of October.

Louisville, Colorado-based AirCell says its replacement system will also provide operators an upgrade path to its air-to-ground broadband service, scheduled for launch late next year. Available in North America, the service will provide a cheaper, lighter alternative to broadband satcom, it says.

Source: Flight International