Airbus/SITA joint venture OnAir and German firm TriaGnoSys have launched what they claim is "the most lightweight" in-flight connectivity system for business jets.
The system enables passengers to use their mobile devices and laptops for voice calls, text messages, emailing and Internet browsing, say the two firms.
Mobile phone usage is treated in the same way as international roaming, meaning all costs are charged by the passenger's mobile operator in their regular bill. Therefore, the aircraft operator is not responsible for the administration of accounting for the costs.
OnAir is the telecoms services provider, while TriaGnoSys provides the hardware and software elements for both the aircraft and the ground.
TriaGnoSys managing director Axel Jahn says: "Not only is the airborne equipment the lightest ever designed for business jets to support such comprehensive services, it is also straightforward to install. The components are simply connected by Ethernet to the satellite link. They do not require specific cooling and their small size and weight means they do not impinge on cabin space."
The first commercial deployment will be over the Inmarsat's SwiftBroadband aeronautical service, but the solution can operate over any IP backhaul communications link, whether satellite-based or not, according to OnAir and TriaGnoSys.
"Given how much business people use their mobile phones, it isn't surprising they want stay in touch when they are flying, and that is particularly true of business and VIP passengers. We are therefore making it very simple for operators of business jets to provide in-flight connectivity services. It is also very simple for passengers: just make a call, send a text message or look at email as you do on the ground," says OnAir CEO Ian Dawkins.
OnAir and TriaGnoSys already work together to provide in-flight connectivity for commercial airlines and maritime communications.
Several in-flight connectivity providers serve the business aviation community with various solutions, including Aircell, AeroMobile, Thrane & Thrane, Panasonic Avionics, ViaSat and others.