JetSuiteX CEO Alex Wilcox at APEX TECH. Image: Greg Verville

JetSuiteX will begin rolling out SmartSky Networks’ 4G air-to-ground (ATG) connectivity solution in the fourth quarter of this year, announced CEO Alex Wilcox at APEX TECH today.

To kick off APEX TECH in Los Angeles today, Alex Wilcox, CEO of JetSuiteX, announced that the private jet company, which also operates scheduled flights, will be the launch customer of SmartSky Networks’ 4G air-to-ground (ATG) connectivity. The solution was tested on SmartSky’s Cessna Citation Excel “a couple of weeks ago” over Savannah, Georgia. “The damn thing works,” Wilcox said, adding that they were able to live stream to 22 devices with “super low” latency.

Wilcox revealed in the question period that the airline attempted to work with other connectivity suppliers offering ATG and/or satellite solutions, but none had the one thing they were really looking for – until SmartSky pitched him at APEX TECH last year.

“Our customers wanted more and there was no other technology to perform this.” – Alex Wilcox, JetSuiteX CEO

On the need to find a suitable connectivity solution for the JetSuiteX fleet, Wilcox said, “Our customers wanted more and there was no other technology to perform this. It’s a number one complaint of our customers. They can’t live without that Instagram view.”

The service, which will be complimentary for JetSuiteX passengers, will provide 10 times the speed of legacy airborne connections and is expected to go live in the fourth quarter of this year. The ground-based components of the system are currently being deployed throughout the contiguous United States using a mix of 4G LTE and emerging 5G technologies, with SmartSky prioritizing the construction of cell towers in the southwest United States, near Dallas where JetSuiteX is based.

“JetSuiteX believes in empowering its customers with extreme efficiency, already cutting significant time from the typical airport experience and earning it the highest Net Promoter Score of any air carrier in the world,” said Haynes Griffin, chairman and CEO of SmartSky Networks, in a press release. “Our role is to support JetSuiteX’s continued dominance as the industry’s leader of passenger satisfaction.”