Satellite communications services reseller Satcom Direct last month announced it has sent and received AFIS/Acars datalink messages over the Inmarsat I-4 satellite constellation, marking a first for a satcom service provider. The messages were broadcast from a Global Express using Satcom Direct’s FlightDeck Freedom service in collaboration with the SITA datalink network.
Inmarsat’s I-4 mobile broadband satellite constellation is finished and the first SwiftBroadband customers are enjoying data access at speeds faster and for lower cost than the previous generation of Swift64 service, so one would think the London-based company would have little information to share at its annual aeronautical conference, held last month in Vancouver.
In a world of proliferating air/ground communications options, EMS Satcom is here in the Canadian pavilion (Hall 3 Stand F37) to show how its antennas, radios and servers can help airline, government and private operators get connected.
Satellite communications capabilities on board commercial aircraft have advanced rapidly in recent years with airline passengers using broadband Internet, WiFi, text messaging and mobile phones in flight and now business aircraft users are starting to reap the rewards.
Satcom Direct, a leading retailer of satellite communications services for aviation, continues to line up deals that should ensure the Melbourne, Fla.-based company suffers few, if any, negative effects from the ailing economy.
ViaSat today named Satcom Direct a reseller of its new Yonder Ku-band satellite broadband service for business jets. Based on ViaSat’s ArcLight technology and using a lightweight, 12-inch antenna, Yonder is capable of providing download speeds of up to 10 megabits per second in flight. The service is available over North America, the Caribbean, the North Atlantic, Europe, the North Pacific and the Arabian Gulf.
Iridium said it has begun taking steps to replace a lost communication satellite with one of eight in-orbit spares. The collision of a 2,000-pound decommissioned Russian satellite with the smaller Iridium craft on February 10 created a swirling field of debris but left only a tiny gap in Iridium’s 66-satellite constellation, resulting in brief outages for some customers.
With this summer’s acquisition of Sky Connect by parent EMS Technologies, EMS Satcom can now offer full worldwide satellite communication coverage. Sky Connect, which continues to operate from Takoma Park, Md., offers tracking, text messaging and telephone service for airborne, ground and marine applications over the Iridium satellite network.
Iridium has agreed to combine with an affiliate of New York investment bank Greenhill & Co. as part of a strategy to raise $500 million in seed capital for deployment of its next-generation satellite communications network.
Arinc Direct has expanded its SkyLink broadband satellite communications network to include “substantial” coverage of the Caribbean, Central America and part of South America. SES Americom is using its Ku-band satellite NSS-7 to provide satellite coverage for the region. Arinc conducted beta tests of the SkyLink coverage from the Gulf of Mexico to northern Peru.