Aircell Debuts First All-in-One Smart Router/Media Server for Business Aviation


  • UCS 5000 is a single system that harnesses a full array of in-flight connectivity, entertainment and information

LAS VEGAS, NV [NBAA2013] | October 21, 2013 – Aircell (NASDAQ: GOGO), a leading provider of in-flight connectivity equipment and services to the business aviation market, announces the UCS 5000, the industry’s first all-in-one smart router and media server.

John Wade, Aircell’s Executive Vice President and General Manager, said, “Business aviation’s in- flight experience has never been richer, but installing and using all those capabilities has become quite complex. UCS is a single, backbone system that manages and simplifies the way passengers access today’s vast menu of capabilities. It provides not only all the needed router functionality and interfaces, but offers the optional bonus of a full-fledged media server, in-flight entertainment (IFE) service, and the industry’s only fully-automatic update capability – all in a single unit.

“Many UCS features are offered as options, so it’s easy for operators to choose the capabilities they need – without paying for things they don’t. With features selected for the mission, UCS is as cost-effective for a light turboprop with a simple Internet system on board, as it is for the most capable, ultra-long-range aircraft. Further, since many UCS features are available via software key, new capabilities can be added at any time, without requiring any additional hardware. It’s a very flexible solution,” concluded Wade.
Smart Router Functions
First and foremost, UCS is a smart router. It provides 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi service with access to all in-cabin wireless services with a single log on – eliminating multiple connections and manual switching. Additional key features:

  • Triple the in-cabin wireless bandwidth of traditional router solutions, permitting the simultaneous use of voice, connectivity and entertainment services without interruption.
  • Dynamic, simultaneous management of multiple voice and data networks – giving aircraft operators the option of prioritizing services and devices to meet their needs for performance, budget and convenience.
  • Management of on-board Iridium, Gogo Biz and SwiftBroadband services. Designed to manage services such as Ku-band, Global Xpress Ka-band and Iridium NEXT in the future.
  • An integrated 3G/4G cellular modem, providing optional Internet connectivity on the ground and enabling light, over-the-air IFE content updates.
  • Integrated PBX capabilities for seamless management of voice calls with wired/wireless handsets and personal smartphones, via Aircell’s optional Gogo Text & Talk service.
  • Optional data compression (WAN optimization), which maximizes the efficiency and perceived performance of SwiftBroadband.

Media Server Functions
UCS is the industry’s first smart router that is also an optional, full-fledged media server.

  • UCS is the hardware that delivers Gogo Vision, Aircell’s new on-demand IFE service. Gogo Vision gives passengers a complete, always-rotating library of the latest movies and TV episodes – along with news, flight progress information and destination weather – at their fingertips.
  • Passenger-to-passenger file transfer, screen sharing and in-cabin file storage capabilities are also available.

Fully Automatic IFE Updates

In another industry first, UCS includes Wi-Fi bridge capabilities, which allow operators to obtain fully-automatic IFE content updates when the aircraft visits any Gogo Cloud location. When an aircraft arrives, the UCS system automatically connects to the Gogo Cloud Wi-Fi signal and performs a complete content update – all without any intervention from the flight crew. Currently expected to be available in January 2014, Gogo Cloud will be available at select Signature Flight Support facilities, and individual flight departments can purchase equipment packages to bring Gogo Cloud capabilities to their own hangars.

Additional Information and Availability

By combining functionality with features traditionally offered through separate hardware, UCS can also reduce box count – simplifying operation while reducing equipment cost, installation complexity and weight. Available in January 2014, UCS is extremely small and lightweight – only 9.3 lbs and two MCU in size.

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