Global mobile satellite communications group Inmarsat plans to offer in-flight Internet connections of speeds of up to 64 kbps to aircraft operators at “a fraction of the cost” of rival broadband services. The new Swift64 platform is expected to be available by the end of the year.
Duncan Aviation said it has completed installation of an EMS Satcom eNfusion HSD-400 satellite communications system in a Bombardier Challenger 601-3R. The satcom hardware allows passengers to use their personal Wi-Fi devices, BlackBerrys, iPhones and other data communication gear in flight in two of three worldwide satellite regions that are available now.
The failure of a Russian Proton rocket in March has thrown the schedule for the launch of Inmarsat’s third and final I4 communications satellite into question, according to Inmarsat officials speaking today at a satellite user conference in San Diego. The third satellite supporting SwiftBroadband aero data and voice services will be positioned over the Pacific Ocean region, completing the I4 coverage network.
Los Angeles-based Teledyne Controls announced an agreement with satcom antenna maker EMS Technologies to design and integrate a high-speed data terminal for use with Teledyne’s MagnaStar telephone system. Under terms of the deal, EMS Technologies will supply MagnaStar customers with an aeronautical data pipeline designed to interface with Inmarsat Swift64 service.
Rockwell Collins announced that it is embarking on a mission to turn the cockpits and passenger compartments of business airplanes and regional airliners into virtual information nerve centers, where all manner of digital data would be sent, received and stored using high-speed electronic pipelines and onboard computer servers.
The first commercially available airborne Internet link for business jets has arrived in the form of Swift64, a global satcom data service from Inmarsat designed to rival the data transfer rates of ground-based ISDN connections.
A maxim of modern commerce states that the key to success in business lies in always staying a step or two ahead of the competition. Among business aircraft makers that means constantly making improvements to products, sometimes by starting from scratch with an entirely new aircraft, or at other times by making changes to current designs.
In a move aimed at winning back market share from Iridium, EMS Satcom (Booth No. 709) Tuesday introduced two new SwiftBroadband satcom systems intended for midsize and larger jets that offer per-minute voice calling pricing that can’t be beat. That’s because phone calls placed through the system are free.
Thrane & Thrane (Booth No. 301) said it has started taking orders for its Aero-SB Lite satcom system. Billed as being the smallest and lightest of any SwiftBroadband satcom system on the market, Aero-SB Lite features built-in Wi-Fi and voice-over-IP capability as well as a compact intermediate-gain antenna.
Inmarsat last month announced the commercial availability of the new Swift64 mobile data pipeline, an airborne satellite Internet service that the company claims finally bridges the gap between a user’s ground-bound office and the aircraft cabin.