EBACE Convention News

Inmarsat boosts satcom speed, capability

 - May 19, 2022, 3:00 AM
Inmarsat senior vice president of business and general aviation Kai Tang.

Inmarsat is highlighting the importance of connectivity for business aircraft this week at EBACE 2022, where it is showcasing the company's high-speed satcom data offerings for aircraft owners and operators. With satellite communications facilitating both flight deck and in-cabin connectivity, business aviation customers have come to expect the service as a standard, the company said.

According to Inmarsat senior vice president of business and general aviation Kai Tang, when it comes to the typical uses of satellite communication by business aviation operators in Europe, one can generally divide satellite communications into two parts: flight deck connectivity and cabin connectivity. “Cockpit communications encompass connected flight decks taking advantage of voice, safety, and operational data—used primarily by pilots, but increasingly by other crew as well—to optimize flight operations,” he said.

Cabin connectivity traditionally has used services such as Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband, but now uses others such as Jet ConneX to also enable heavier data usage from passengers, according to Tang. “In a connected cabin, passengers are able to do everything from streaming TV and video to creating an ‘office in the sky’ and scrolling social media,” he said. “We are also seeing increasing amounts of videoconferencing, and as such the average speeds required are increasing year-over-year—this is certainly a buoyant market sector.”

Inmarsat's EBACE exhibit emphasizes what it can offer customers today and in the near future. “This includes exploring what Inmarsat Orchestra will soon offer for existing, and prospective, Jet ConneX customers. We will also have hardware updates to share around new terminals that offer faster speeds and better performance, and can maximize the available capacity of our upcoming GX 7, 8, and 9 satellites,” said Tang.

For business aviation customers, cabin connectivity is becoming increasingly important. “In fact, this is an understatement,” affirmed Tang, “The focus is not necessarily the importance of higher speeds and metrics, but customers are starting to understand that connectivity in the cabin is becoming flight-essential.”

With this comes the need for greater reliability and an improved standard of service, according to Tang. “Compared to just a few years ago, there is far less willingness to accept shifts in performance, holes in coverage, or volatile speeds. We offer the greatest reliability and guaranteed service on the market, so we can confidently say we will continue to deliver this for our customers new and old,” he concluded.