SmartSky’s ‘enhanced’ network now offers ATG coverage nationwide


SmartSky Networks’ mobile broadband network is now live nationwide in what CEO, Dave Helfgott has called a “momentous achievement”. With hundreds of sites deployed, SmartSky said its network density exceeds competing air-to-ground (ATG) networks “enabling consistent performance” for business aviation across the continental US.

“Our service brings a new level of connectivity and capability to the business aviation industry that transcends any solution previously available, particularly in the ATG sector,” said Helfgott.

Utilising the unlicensed 2.4GHz spectrum band, SmartSky’s network combines 4G and 5G technologies. The ATG network enables aircraft to use 60 MHz of unlicensed spectrum for data flow to and from the aircraft for passengers, flight crews and aircraft operations.

SmartSky president, Ryan Stone said: “As we complete entry-into-service, our initial customers are flying and using the service to send data off the aircraft as easily as they stream it on. In concert, our world-class engineering team is using our software-defined network infrastructure to continuously fine tune for optimal performance and coverage.”

With STCs complete for many popular business aviation aircraft, SmartSky’s partners are installing the firm’s hardware on individual and fleet aircraft. SmartSky also said additional STCs for more aircraft types are nearing completion with the FAA.