SmartSky Networks has secured more than $170 million in a multi-tranche Series B financing, completing the equity funding for the deployment of its nationwide network.
This completes funding for the nationwide deployment of its patented SmartSky 4G LTE air-to-ground network later this year.
SmartSky is deploying the USA’s first 4G LTE-based broadband high speed wireless air-to-ground data network dedicated to providing airborne internet connectivity.
The nationwide network rollout is under way, with the vast majority of sites expected to be operational this autumn.
Haynes Griffin, Chairman and CEO, said: “We are pleased to have accomplished the threshold technical and business milestones needed to close on this major capital formation step.
“As a result, we are moving rapidly with the deployment of our coast-to-coast national network to bring users fast, seamless connectivity in the air.”
Griffin added: “A significant number of customers joined our Early Bird waiting list to secure their spot at the head of the line.
“SmartSky and its partners have already begun the process of obtaining a Supplemental Type Certification (STC) needed for installation on each aircraft model type. We expect ‘early bird’ customer installs of our patented technology to commence next quarter, immediately following completion of the first few STCs.”
Headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, SmartSky Networks was formed in 2011 by senior aviation and telecommunications executives seeking to transform aviation using disruptive communications technologies.
Working with leading aerospace and technology partners, SmartSky is rolling out its innovative, air-to-ground network, SmartSky 4G LTE, later this year.
The network takes advantage of patented spectrum reuse and advanced beam-forming technologies combined with 60 MHz of spectrum for enhanced connectivity.
SmartSky 4G LTE delivers data to the aircraft with speeds comparable to next-generation satellite solutions and provides unmatched speeds when getting data off the aircraft.
SmartSky says a real-time bidirectional link without the latency of satellite systems means SmartSky 4G LTE is a key enabler for new and enhanced apps, services, and hardware.