MEBAA Convention News

Satcom Direct Buys TrueNorth Avionics

 - December 6, 2016, 4:30 AM

Continuing its expansion of services and offerings, onboard communications and connectivity provider Satcom Direct (SD, Stand 477) announced here at MEBAA the completion of its acquisition of TrueNorth Avionics, along with a new sales agreement with Inmarsat and a partnership with Lufthansa Technik.

SD’s platform, the Satcom Direct Router (SDR–manufactured by TrueNorth) and overlying operating system, Satcom Pro, provide the foundation for a variety of personalized onboard communication, entertainment and information offerings the company is showcasing here in Dubai. The current and new modules it’s developing enable customers to personalize services for their unique needs.

SD’s intended purchase of TrueNorth Avionics, the Canadian manufacturer of cabin communication systems, announced at the NBAA Convention in the U.S. last month, has now been consummated, the company said here at the show. This significantly expands SD’s ability to provide advanced communication systems for executive and head-of-state configured airliners, according to the company, and it is now determining how to take advantage of TrueNorth’s products and capabilities. “We’ll be looking at more synergies as time moves on, and how the businesses can be integrated together,” said Chris Moore, SD’s chief commercial officer.

Under its new agreement with Inmarsat, SD is now a Value Added Retailer (VAR) for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) broadband satellite network for military, head-of-state and government customers. GX, the world’s first globally available Ka-band mobile satellite network, provides very high bandwidth services, delivered through a secure waveform optimized for mobility. SD is already a VAR for Jet Connex, the business aviation version of GX, which went live last month. SD also has VAR agreements with satellite system operators Iridium, ViaSat and Panasonic. “The closer we come to the [network] vendor, the more enhanced services we can provide our customers through the network,” said Moore.

The partnership with Lufthansa Technik (LHT, Stand 500), announced here, unites the companies in offering business jet operators a wide selection of DRM-secured and licensed movies and TV shows. Initially available on aircraft equipped with LHT’s nice HD cabin systems via an easy-to-use portable memory device, no internet connection is needed to view content, and new movies and TV shows will be added on a monthly basis. By mid-2017 the service will be available for all IFE/CMS platforms via LHT’s nicemedia Smartbox, powered by SD, and enable passengers to view content on cabin monitors, or via streaming on personal electronic devices.

Here at the show, attendees can see demonstrations of SD’s portfolio of solutions on touchscreen TVs. These include services such as cockpit data link FlightDeck Freedom; SD Flight Tracker, which shows precise locations of an aircraft fleet worldwide; and the television access portal OneView. App offerings on display include MYflight, providing real-time flight data to passengers; getORT+, for remote diagnostics of satcom systems; and FlightDeck 360, providing flight crews with communication services.

SD’s local representatives (the company has an office in Dubai) are on hand at MEBAA to show the offerings to attendees and explain how they can help meet an aircraft operators’ needs, and even sign them up for service.