Inmarsat, OnAir Ink Deal for Global Aerial Broadband
Inmarsat and OnAir have finalized a contract appointing OnAir as the initial aviation distribution partner for Global Xpress, a cabin communication system its developers describe as “the first global Ka-band network to provide in-flight broadband connectivity for the aeronautical market.” OnAir currently uses Inmarsat SwiftBroadband to provide the connectivity for Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir.
The Geneva, Switzerland-based in-flight connectivity specialist has been working with Inmarsat on a seamless deployment path from SwiftBroadband to Global Xpress in preparation for the formal introduction of the newer system. Scheduled to begin service in late 2014, Global Xpress “will offer unprecedented data rates and bandwidth, backed by Inmarsat’s quality standards, performance and global reach,” according to OnAir.
More specifically, OnAir claims it will offer 50 Mbps outbound and 4.4 Mbps inbound, “providing the same experience as terrestrial broadband.” The company further notes that only the Ka-band network is designed to provide consistent global coverage, adding, “Combined with our network of more than 80 regulatory approvals and some 350 roaming agreements with mobile network operators, OnAir is the only in-flight connectivity provider to offer coverage across the world.”