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Avionica and GigSky to sell global aircraft data transmission

Flight data hardware company Avionica and wireless network provider GigSky have partnered to offer airlines global flight data transmission services, enabling carriers to reduce reliance on consumer-focused wireless providers, Avionica announces.

Under the partnership, Avionica, based in Miami, will offer users of its flight data recorders the option to purchase global mobile data transmission services.

Avionica will manage the data transmission service, but the data will flow over GigSky's global wireless data network, Avionica says.

Avionica manufactures so-called "quick access recorders", which are devices that record a variety of flight and aircraft operational data, including some of the same data recorded by crash-proof flight data recorders.

But unlike flight data recorders, Avionica's devices transmit data directly to airlines, typically via wireless networks managed by direct-to-consumer wireless providers such as AT&T and T-Mobile, says Avionica vice-president of business development Sean Reilly.

He says when the systems do not function as intended, airlines can struggle to discover the source of the problems, which typically lie with the network providers.

In addition, global carriers must manage complexities associated with differing data roaming charges in the countries they operate, Avionica says.

Through partnership with Palo Alto, California-based GigSky, however, Avionica will manage data transmissions and support the systems as a single customer service contact, Reilly says.

GigSky's wireless network covers 190 countries, and the company already supplies mobile data to the aviation industry, including data transmitted to pilots' electronic flight bags, Avionica says.

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