SmartSky Networks has initiated deployment of its airborne 4G LTE-based air-to-ground network, the company said. The network should provide speed and capacity 10 times greater than the current standard. SmartSky Network also said it can delivery these capabilities at a lower cost per bit.
A $170 million Series B funding round jump-started the long lead-time implementation processes for roll-out of the network, the company said. The estimate has been updated to mid-2018, reflecting the additional time required for supplemental type certificate-related software optimization and production of base station radios.
"Customers are unanimously impressed after experiencing in-flight demos, confirming that we have significantly raised the bar for what will constitute best-in-class, future-ready airborne connectivity going forward," said Haynes Griffin, SmartSky Networks chairman and CEO. "They seem equally appreciative of the fact that the few months of additional schedule to meet the high standards we have set for this network is ultimately to everyone's benefit."