In-flight broadband connectivity provider Row 44 has selected the new KuStream 1000 antenna system for installation on Southwest Airlines' fleet, after using an Aerosat-made antenna for flight tests.
The KuStream 1000 antenna system, a joint development effort of Tecom and Qest of Germany, enables Row 44's Ku-band satellite-based in-flight connectivity system to provide passengers with live entertainment and communication, including high data rate applications such as VoIP services, and live television using IPTV.
Qest contributed core RF components such as the antenna aperture and the polarization control module, with Tecom contributing systems engineering, antenna positioning and control subsystems, product qualification, certification and after-sale support.
California-based Row 44 has been using an Aerosat-made antenna for its flight tests. Aerosat last year in a letter urging the US Federal Communications Commission to approve Row 44's system, revealed it has invested "millions of dollars in the development of technology to support Row 44's system".
In a statement today Row 44 CEO John Guidon says: "After careful evaluation, Row 44 selected the Tecom KuStream antenna system. We are pleased to have them as our supplier for the Southwest Airlines program."
Southwest plans to equip its 540-plus aircraft fleet with Row 44's system.
Tecom says the KuStream 1000 has received FCC licensing for airborne transmit and receive, and that the company has completed the requirements for environmental qualification of the KuStream 1000 and has applied for FAA parts manufacture approval.
Aerosat could not be immediately reached for comment.
For more information on the KuStream 1000 antenna, check out Runway Girl Mary Kirby's video from the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) conference and exhibition last year in Palm Springs, California.