Thales selects AceAxis radio to power in-flight broadband

Published on: 25th January 2017

SWINDON, UK—21 July 2016 —AceAxis, a leading developer of wireless technology, today announced that it has signed a development and manufacturing agreement with Thales, under which it will adapt its remote radio head (RRH) design for use in a system providing broadband Internet connectivity to passengers on board commercial aircraft.

The AceAxis RRH will be a key component in the new Complementary Ground Component (CGC) terminal, which Thales is developing and manufacturing for use with Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network (EAN) high-speed in-flight connectivity solution. EAN is the first system to integrate an LTE-based ground network with satellite communications to provide aviation passenger connectivity.

“AceAxis is a leader in RRH technology, and was an obvious choice to provide this key component of our new system. The CGC terminal we are developing will be fitted onto aircraft to provide a crucial link with the LTE-based ground network, and the system will switch automatically between satellite and terrestrial connectivity to provide a seamlessly optimised broadband service to passengers, wherever they are flying within Europe.” said David Williams, Procurement Director, Avionics, Thales.

“Our RRH platform has proven performance and reliability in LTE networks around the world,” said Steve Cooper, CEO of AceAxis. “Our established radio development platform strategy enables AceAxis to rapidly create new products to exacting standards using industry proven designs. This was a significant factor for Thales in selecting Ace Axis to supply such a critical part of their ecosystem for this advanced system.”

The European Aviation Network is expected to enter service during 2017, following completion of development work and system trials.