[Avionics Magazine 12-27-2016] Airborne Wireless Network (AWN) has announced a new agreement with Electric Lightwave Holdings, a U.S.-based regional fiber-based network services provider of critical data networking solutions, unified communications platforms, and cloud and security services. The company says the new agreement will allow Electric Lightwave Holdings to manage the ground segment of its “contemplated Infinitus Superhighway,” and will facilitate the completion of ground stations for the airborne connectivity network it is developing.
Airborne Wireless Network concept. Photo: AWN.
Airborne Wireless Network describes its goal as developing a wholesale carrier network that will use commercial aircraft as “mini satellites.” Each aircraft participating in the network will act as an airborne repeater or router, sending and receiving broadband signals from one aircraft to the next and creating a digital superhighway in the sky, the company says.
In November, AWN applied for a Supplemental Type Certification (STC) to install a broadband transceiver system on Boeing 757-200s, and plans on expanding the STC approval—once received—to additional Airbus and Boeing aircraft types.
The company says it does not intend to provide retail customer coverage to end users, but instead wants to act as a wholesale carrier of airborne connectivity to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telephone companies.