ICELAND TO PROVIDE FLIGHTLINK(SM) TELEPHONE/DATA SERVICES TO PASSENGERS ON TRANS-ATLANTIC FLIGHTS
OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill., July 15 /PRNewswire/ -- In-Flight Phone International (IFPI) today announced that the General Directorate of Posts and Telecommunications (P&T) in Reykjavik, Iceland, will operate air-to-ground receiving and transmitting facilities which will support IFPI's FlightLink passenger communications system. "The Iceland network will work in tandem with ground station networks in the United States, Canada, Greenland and Europe," said Sandra Goeken Martis, IFPI chairman and CEO. "The addition of Iceland to our world-wide network means that terrestrial coverage will be available for a significant portion of a trans-Atlantic flight," she said. William Gordon, IFPI vice president of regulatory affairs, noted that Iceland is strategically located to provide FlightLink services. "Each day, more than 150 flights traveling between the continents will pass within range of the Iceland ground station." The digital ground stations will operate in the 849-851 and 894-896 MHz frequency bands and will provide FlightLink passenger communications services, including static- and fade-free telephone calls, stock quotes, fax grams, computer data transmission, reservations and more, to airline passengers traveling between Europe and North America. Under the terms of the agreement, the P&T will purchase the radio equipment from In-Flight Phone International, install and maintain the digital ground stations and provide telephone interconnections. The ground station facilities will be located in Skalafell and Hafell, Iceland. In-Flight Phone will market the air-to-ground communications services to airlines, and process billing transactions.
FLIGHTLINK DIGITAL NETWORK EXPANSION
Goeken Martis noted that because of the lower cost, a land-based air-to-ground communications service is preferable to a direct aircraft- to-satellite uplink. In-Flight Phone's FlightLink service utilizes an integrated satellite/air-to-ground system with satellite transmission being used only when an aircraft is out of range of an air-to-ground network. This ensures that the most reliable and cost-effective method of transmission is always available to passengers. The following is a list of landmarks in the development of the digital FlightLink air-to-ground network: -- July 6, 1993: Mercury Communications, London, a subsidiary of Cable & Wireless p.l.c., takes a significant stake in In-Flight Phone Europe. The investment will hasten the development of Europe's first digital air-to-ground network; -- May 18, 1993: In-Flight Phone Canada announces that deployment of the Canadian ground station network will be completed by August 1993; -- December 1992: In-Flight Phone Middle East announces it will construct ground stations in the United Arab Emirates; -- July 1992: Greenland Telecom and In-Flight Phone International sign an exclusive agreement to operate the network in Greenland; -- May 1992: In-Flight Phone Canada announces that permission has been received to extend the network into Canada; -- January 1992: In-Flight Phone Corporation announces the completion of its digital U.S. ground station network.
FlightLink consists of a telephone handset and LCD viewing screen installed in each seatback. In addition to digital clear telephone service, the handset also lets passengers send fax messages, receive stock quotes and play video games. Simple instructions appear on the screen to guide new users. FlightLink will soon be enhanced by the addition of a live 12-channel audio service. The service, called FlightLink On-The-Air, was developed by Harris Corporation and will be programmed by ABC Radio. In March 1993, In-Flight Phone Corp. (IFPC) announced that up to 402 commercial aircraft would be equipped with IFPC's FlightLink passenger communications system by the end of 1994. In-Flight Phone Corp. was founded by telecommunications pioneer John D. (Jack) Goeken, who also founded MCI, the FTD Mercury Network, CML Satellite Corp. and Airfone. -0- 7/15/93 /EDITOR'S NOTE: FlightLink(SM) is a registered service mark of In- Flight Phone Corp./ /CONTACT: Darren Leno, director of communications, In-Flight Phone Corp., 708-574-1237/
CO: In-Flight Phone Corp. ST: Illinois IN: TLS AIR SU: PDT
AR -- CL020 -- 2081 07/15/93 14:44 EDT
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|Date:||Jul 15, 1993|
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