Building an Air-to-Ground (ATG) 4G In-flight Broadband Network

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SmartSky Networks announced the implementation of a new Air-to-Ground (ATG) network based on 4G LTE technology using over 250 ground-based cell towers that send signals up to an aircraft’s antennas. As a plane travels into different sections of airspace it transparently connects to the signal from the nearest cell tower, just as a mobile phone does on the ground. Frank Wang, Principal Network Architect at SmartSky Networks said it allows them to offer uninterrupted high-bandwidth in-flight connectivity to passengers and crew.

“Video calls can be conducted and movies can be streamed, with no buffering,” he said. This real-time, low latency, bidirectional link will usher in the digitization of the aviation industry.  “At each ground-station we install an electronics cabinet that contains Cisco routers, antennas, and other specialist equipment critical for the ATG network. We needed a way to access the serial console port of all the equipment to manage and monitor it remotely. Cisco recommended Perle Console Servers.”

Perle Console Servers are used to remotely monitor, access and manage all equipment in the ground-stations via their console ports. As the ground-stations are spread throughout the USA, some in extremely remote sites, it was important for all equipment to be reliable, temperature hardened and Telco certified.

June 19, 2018

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