Arinc has become a distribution partner (DP) for Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband satellite communication services, allowing it to buy and resell airtime directly. According to the company, its new position as a SwiftBroadband wholesaler, which took effect April 1, will better enable it to offer tailored communications solutions to aircraft operators. It should also give Arinc stronger buying power with Inmarsat, allowing it to offer more competitive airtime packages to its customers.
According to Arinc, its position as an Inmarsat DP will allow it to have a closer technical interface with clients, giving it a better understanding of operators’ actual SwiftBroadband usage. This will allow it to offer more purpose-built services such as “granular” billing whereby the aircraft operator can clearly differentiate the various ways the service is used, facilitating, for example, onward billing to its clients (that is, passengers).
By having direct access to Inmarsat’s systems and tools, Arinc maintains it can offer more customized solutions to aircraft operators. It will be able to offer services such as monitoring and alerting for specific customer needs, as well as provide improved diagnostic and troubleshooting support for the satcom connections.
“Arinc plans to provide SwiftBroadband connectivity in a one-stop transaction,” said Andy Hubbard, Arinc Aviation Solutions director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “Our customers will not need to source a communications pipe separately as it will be part of a package with flight applications, connectivity software and technical support.”
In addition to SwiftBroadband, Arinc also offers all the “classic” Inmarsat satcom services–Aero-H, Aero-H+, Aero-I and Swift64. SwiftBroadband is available through Inmarsat’s latest I-4 satellites and offers simultaneous voice and standard Internet protocol data at rates of up to 432 kbps per channel. Currently, the service is limited to two channels per aircraft but is set to increase to four channels in 2012. Higher bandwidth can be achieved through combining channels.
SwiftBroadband supports both crew and passenger voice and data communications.