Ka-band Embraced by Inmarsat, OnAir

 - October 31, 2012, 10:30 AM

Inmarsat and OnAir have signed a contract finalizing the appointment of OnAir as the first aviation distribution partner for Global Xpress, a cabin communication system described as “the first global Ka-band network to provide in-flight broadband connectivity for the aeronautical market.”

OnAir 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 Global Xpress.

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 provide service as fast as 50 mbps outbound and 4.4 mbps inbound, “providing the same experience as terrestrial broadband.”

The company further noted that only the Ka-band network is designed to provide consistent global coverage, adding, “Combined with OnAir’s unique network of over 80 regulatory approvals and more than 350 roaming agreements with mobile network operators, OnAir is the only in-flight connectivity provider to offer coverage across the world.” ­–K.J.H.