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Wavelengths

Wi-Fi Speed Tests Are a Thing of the Past

Posted by Brian Rudloff on Sep 26, 2018 2:15:34 PM

In the aviation connectivity industry, we are all striving to provide a better end-user experience, whether that experience is for the passengers in the cabin, the flight crew, or the team on the ground. Our goal is to enable these users to do the activities and tasks that they want and need to do with their devices: send and receive emails, hold calls and video chats, collect and analyze in-flight data. However, confusion creeps in when connectivity is not what one might expect— especially when everyone starts talking about “speeds up to _” as if that is the performance one sees all the time.

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Topics: Knowledge Base

Network Characteristics: Coverage Footprint and Beamforming

Posted by Darren Emery on Sep 21, 2018 10:38:07 AM

As a frequent flyer, my first thought when boarding a flight is often focused around whether there will be space for my carry-on, competing with my fellow passengers for the limited space available. I confess it can be difficult not to be frustrated when several large bags have hogged all the space, leaving me with no option but to check my bag.

Similarly, the aircraft and passengers often experience the same dilemma at 35,000 feet, but for another reason. This competition is for the availability to exchange data on and off the aircraft, or “bandwidth” over the in-flight connectivity service. It is quite likely that you never give a second thought to the physics nor the technological advances that make it possible to connect to the Internet in the sky. But you may ask yourself: given all of these advances, why do we still struggle for “space” in that proverbial data pipe used for in-flight connectivity?

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Topics: Knowledge Base

Network Characteristics: The Importance of Return Link Capacity

Posted by Brian Staik on Sep 6, 2018 11:58:54 AM

You might not give much thought to your Internet connection's overall speed, but you probably do pay attention to your overall user experience. Most people think speed tests are the key to putting a measurable quantity on user experience – and most only pay attention to the speed to the user, not the speed from the user to the provider. You might be surprised to learn that in addition to latency, upload speed, or speed from the user to the provider, is key to a great Internet experience.

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Topics: Knowledge Base

Network Characteristics: How Latency Affects User Experience

Posted by Brian Staik on Aug 10, 2018 2:03:51 PM

Everyone agrees that in aviation today, we struggle with connectivity when comparing the Internet service we have at home to that available in flight. What isn’t agreed to is the reason why the experience on board an aircraft is so less satisfying than what we expect. Oftentimes, people point solely to bandwidth, or the “size of the pipe” to the aircraft available to move data from Point A to Point B. If connectivity was basic plumbing with one-way water flow, this may be true, but connectivity experience depends on two-way communication between Point A and Point B. This is when latency enters the equation.

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Topics: Knowledge Base

/ˈwāvˌleNG(k)TH/

  1. the distance between successive crests of a wave, especially points in a sound wave or electromagnetic wave. 
  2. a person's ideas and way of thinking, especially as it affects their ability to communicate with others.

The Wavelengths Blog is SmartSky's hub of information about our company and industry happenings, featuring profiles of our team members and their accomplishments, as well as thought leadership in the aviation sector.

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