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Wed, Sep 22, 2004

Look At All The Toys We Can Use In The Sky!

But Where Will We Get The Bandwidth?

As the world's airlines this week view new in-flight passenger services with big bandwidth requirements, ARINC Incorporated is showing where they can get all that in-flight bandwidth -- and how to add valuable services for the flight deck at the same time.

ARINC is demonstrating its Commercial SKYLink broadband solution with a live Ku-band satellite link in operation at Booth 323 of the World Airline Entertainment Association (WAEA) 2004 convention in Seattle (WA). The live SKYLink satellite demo includes a range of passenger applications and 802.11b/g wireless Internet access.

If you're at the convention, ARINC says go ahead and bring your Wi-Fi laptop and PDA to Booth 323 and "log on" wirelessly to the fully operational satellite connection to send and receive e-mails or surf the Internet. ARINC has integrated SKYLink with several most-wanted passenger services and it can also deliver applications for the electronic cockpit, such as graphical weather information for display on electronic flight bags.

"Whether the end user is a co-pilot or a passenger, SKYLink provides the inflight bandwidth tomorrow's applications will need," said Senior Director Tom Mullan. "We are holding active discussions with several airlines. Commercial SKYLink is smaller, cheaper, lighter and more capable than competing inflight solutions."

ARINC says a major selling point of Commercial SKYLink is the compact hardware package itself; just 150 pounds including its low-profile antenna. ARINC says that means lower aerodynamic drag and significant fuel savings over the satellite broadband competition.

Commercial SKYLink is built on ARINC's successful broadband technology for business aircraft, but offers 100% more bandwidth -- 5 Mbps to the aircraft and 256 Kbps off-aircraft. SKYLink satellite coverage went live over North America in April, and SKYLink-equipped business jets now have 2-way satellite broadband service from coast to coast on the SES Americom Ku-band satellite constellation. Coverage expansion is planned in 2005 to include the North Atlantic routes, Europe, and the Middle East.

"Carriers thinking about Ku-band satellite broadband can keep all their options open with SKYLink," said Mullan. "We have optimized the design for retrofit, and unlike rigid OEM approaches we have kept SKYLink a highly configurable system to meet any foreseeable fleet requirements. We can even deliver our compact SKYLink business jet solution for low-cost carriers seeking to minimize the cost and footprint of broadband."

FMI: www.arinc.com

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