EMS Satcom to equip Boeing 747-8s
EMS Satcom’s eNfusion SwiftBroadband communications system has been subject to more than 300 hours of trials aboard two Boeing Business Jets, and Rockwell Collins has selected the vendor to develop a satcom system for the Boeing 747-8.
Passengers on the two BBJs have been using the system for advanced tests of Inmarsat’s early entry SwiftBroadband service on flights to and from cities in the United States, Europe and the Caribbean since early this year. The system has demonstrated its ability to support 10 simultaneous users surfing the Web, using e-mail and carrying out file transfers with an average speed of 200 to 300 kbps.
“There is still work to do through the rest of this year, including testing with the upgraded ground network, but we are satisfied with the performance of the system so far,” said John Broughton, vice president of product development. Alpha and Beta trials with other global operators are due to take place in July and August, ahead of the scheduled launch later in the year.
The 747-8 deal should be worth $15 million over the next 10 years based on orders forecast for the new jumbo variant. Other contract wins will see EMS equipment installed as standard on the Airbus A380 and as factory options on the A320, A330 and A340.
Gary Hebb, EMS Satcom vice president and general manager, said the deal with Rockwell Collins covers passenger and freighter variants of the 747-8.