Ariel Corp., a leading supplier of open systems remote access solutions, today announced that its RS2000 56K/ISDN network access cards have been successfully deployed in the first passenger trial of an in-flight email and “Best of Web” browsing capabilities on a commercial airline.
The trial, conducted aboard Air Canada, utilized Tenzing Communications’ Global(TM) airborne email and Internet system.
Tenzing is the third major OEM to utilize Ariel’s network access cards in an ARINC-compliant in-flight Internet access system. Primex Aerospace Company has selected Ariel’s RS2000C CompactPCI cards for use in its EmPort(TM) in-flight laptop connectivity system, which provides Internet access, email, and multi-player gaming. And, the Aviation Communications Division of AT&T Wireless Services has selected the RS2000C to provide network access for its new ePlane inflight data service.
“Ariel is honored to have been included in the first ever test of a commercial airborne Internet access service,” said Ariel President and Chief Executive Officer Dennis Schneider. “In the last year, three major OEMs have announced that they will use our equipment to deliver in-flight Internet access: Tenzing, Primex Aerospace Company, and the Aviation Communications Division of AT&T Wireless Services. The possibility of widespread deployment of these services in passenger aircraft fleets holds considerable revenue potential for Ariel.”
Tenzing’s Global service is currently offered to passengers on a free trial basis onboard five Air Canada B767 aircraft flying routes within North America. Participating travelers access the Tenzing system through Bell Mobility’s existing on-board communication system. Passengers will be able to use their own laptop, POP3 e-mail account and browser, and can receive the necessary software through the Air Canada Web site (www.aircanada.ca/tenzing).
Tenzing’s Global service utilizes a Web server supplied by Miltope Corp. The ARINC (Aeronautical Radio INC)-compliant airborne telephony server, dubbed the E-Server gives up to 30 passengers simultaneous access to the Internet, e-mail, and other services. Each passengerseat, containing one or more phone terminals, is aggregated onto an E1 line that links to the server.
To access the Internet or send email, passengers simply plug their modem-equipped notebook computers into a port on the phone and place a call. The server answers the calls and forwards them to the aircraft’s Central Telephone Unit (CTU), which uses a wireless RF up/down link to connect passengers with the public switched telephone network, Internet backbone, and other ground-based services. Access can be provided in real time, or on a store-and-forward basis for services such as email.