RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARKSmartSky Networks is getting ready to make a splash with the upcoming launch of its new air-to-ground communications network for aviation.

And now it’s got the funds to do so.

The RTP-based in-flight internet provider recently raised $25.6 million in equity, according to a recent SEC filing.

This is in addition to the $75 million in debt that it raised back in February. That was raised from funds managed by the Global Credit team at BlackRock, and equity investments by private equity firms Tiger Infrastructure, WP Global, Platform Partners, and Meritage Investors.

It also raised $17.4 million in private equity raised last November.

With this latest round of funding, the company has raised more than $365 million since 2012.

“The [funds] will be used for general corporate purposes related to the launch,” Michael Miller, SmartSky’s VP of Corporate Marketing & Communications, told WRAL TechWire.

Founded in 2011, SmartSky specializes in providing high-speed wireless internet to business and commercial airlines through cell phone towers.

Its airborne network, which began its nationwide deployment a few years ago, incorporates many 5G wireless technologies and has received regulatory certifications from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Communications Commission.

SmartSky claims the technology will make in-flight internet faster while lowering costs.

“We have 128 patents granted and another 90 pending to protect the many innovations required to make a next generation network live up to customer expectations,” SmartSky Chairman and CEO Haynes Griffin recently said in a release.

“The 5G technology already demonstrated in our network is a clear competitive edge in the market.  Now that we’re in the final stages of deployment, all the hard work and years of effort are about to pay off as customers will be able to use the network in a matter of months.”

RTP-based SmartSky Networks raises $104M after first in-flight wireless commercial deployment

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