INMARSAT Plc. said the company is nearing the complete rollout of its airline-passenger broadband services, as final ground and flight testing of its Global Xpress (GX) technology is currently “under way.”
“Initial results have successfully validated GX Aviation’s ability to deliver high-speed broadband connectivity to support video streaming and live radio, online conference video calls, multiple file downloads and more over land and water,” the global mobile satellite communications provider said in a statement on April 5.
Through GX Aviation, passengers will be able to browse the Internet, use social media, stream online videos, download files and more using their smartphones, tablets and other Wi-Fi-enabled devices, with a similar quality of service in the air as they would receive on the ground, Inmarsat said.
The company said it is collaborating with Honeywell International Inc.’s aerospace division and Kymeta Corp., a company that develops innovative flat-panel antennas for satellite communications, to produce a new, higher-speed Ka-band wireless antenna. “The aviation antenna, which is exclusive to Inmarsat, will have unique capabilities that will bring another step change in faster connectivity and higher-quality broadband service to aircraft.”
Over 300 passenger aircraft have already committed to installing the GX Aviation system, with more to come, Inmarsat said.
It added that certification for JetWave is currently under way for 26 different aircraft models across commercial, business aviation and government end markets, with approvals received for the Boeing 757 and Bombardier 5000 and 6000 aircraft in recent months. Airlines will connect to GX Aviation using exclusive new JetWave terminals being produced by Honeywell.
The international operations of Honeywell is in manufacturing, sales, service and research and development globally, the company said in its 2015 annual report. “US exports comprised 14 percent of our total sales in each of 2015, 2014 and 2013. Non-US manufactured products and services, mainly in Europe and Asia, were 39 percent of our total sales in 2015 and 41 percent in 2014 and 2013,” the company said. The company has also entered into a deal along the GX Aviation system with the Beijing Marine Communication & Navigation Co. Ltd. . In a separate statement, Inmarsat said the agreement “will lead to the creation of a joint venture to provide aircraft cabin and cockpit-connectivity solutions in China’s fast-growing commercial aviation market.”
“The Inmarsat services that would be provided through the JV include GX Aviation and SwiftBroadband-Safety [SB-S]. The final agreement is expected to be signed later this year.”
Inmarsat explained SB-S is a cyber secure flight-deck communication platform in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization mandate for sub-15-minute tracking of all aircraft, Civil Aviation Authority of China’s four-minute mandate, automatic dependent surveillance and electronic flight-bag updates. Below the air, Inmarsat said it has entered into a deal with the Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. (Singtel) to enhance maritime cyber security using the Unified Threat Management (UTM) solution of Singtel’s cyber-security arm.
According to Inmarsat, the Singtel unit will provide the software-based UTM service to be integrated with Inmarsat hardware onboard ships, to protect data and reduce cyber risk for maritime companies. The UTM service offers a suite of cyber-security defenses. It will be delivered through Fleet Xpress, Inmarsat said.