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Wed, Nov 09, 2005

SKYLink Users Get Enhanced Broadband Coverage

Now Covering Canada, Mexico, Caribbean 

ARINC Direct tells ANN that a major expansion of coverage for its SKYLink satellite broadband service, the world’s only ultra-high speed satellite broadband communications solution for business aircraft.

Effective immediately, the SKYLink service satellite coverage footprint has been extended beyond the U.S. continental borders to cover major population centers in Canada, northern Mexico, the Gulf of Mexico, Yucatan peninsula, and much of the Caribbean. Offshore coverage on the U.S. east and west coasts is also increased by hundreds of miles.

The service coverage expansion is provided by a change of satellites. SKYLink service has been switched from satellite AMC-1 to AMC-6 located at 72 degrees West Longitude, a new Ku-band satellite of SKYLink partner and investor SES AMERICOM. SKYLink’s two-way broadband access originally went live in April 2005. Up to 1000 aircraft can use SKYLink over the continental U.S. under ARINC’s FCC license.

“We continue to work closely with our partner and investor, SES AMERICOM, to bring the best service coverage possible to our many business aircraft customers,” stated Robert Thompson, ARINC Senior Director, Satellite Services. “The switch to the new satellite occurred on the night of 15 October and was performed by ViaSat, Inc., our ground earth station operator and provider of the SKYLink avionics. ViaSat had automatically uploaded the new satellite coordinates over the air to our customers’ aircraft, and on Sunday when customers’ aircraft logged on to the system, the SKYLink avionics automatically pointed to AMC-6. The switchover was flawless,” Thompson said.

The enhanced coverage of AMC-6 will soon be augmented by SKYLink service over the North Atlantic and in the European, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) regions. EMEA coverage will be provided by end of year 2005, and North Atlantic coverage by 1st quarter 2006. When in place, business aircraft operators will have continuous SKYLink coverage from the west coast of the United States all the way to the Middle East.

SKYLink, the world’s first ultra-high speed satellite broadband communication solution for business aircraft, turns the corporate aircraft into an “office in the sky,” with network connectivity in flight similar to today’s high speed terrestrial connections. SKYLink takes full advantage of Ku-band satellite capacity to offer a wide range of business applications, including high-speed Internet access, E-mail, corporate Intranet access, Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) and fully-managed private Voice over IP telephony and Fax over IP services. Also planned soon is in-flight videoconferencing capability.

SKYLink is available today as original equipment on Gulfstream G350, G450, G500, and G550 business jets. Gulfstream also offers retrofit installations of SKYLink on all its large cabin aircraft in current production. Gulfstream will install SKYLink on other types of business aircraft through its General Dynamics Aviation Services facilities.

FMI: www.arinc.com

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