Mobile satellite communications provider Inmarsat and Honeywell Aerospace have announced two new distribution partners, Satcom1 and Aircell, which will deliver GX Aviation in-flight wireless services to VIP, government and business aircraft across the globe.
Satcom1 is an aeronautical satellite communications solution provider, while Aircell is a business aviation subsidiary of Gogo, the in-flight Wi-Fi provider. Aircell is already an Inmarsat SwiftBroadband distribution partner.
With GX, business aircraft owners and operators will have global, high speed and reliable broadband connectivity through Inmarsat’s wholly owned and operated Ka-band satellites and ground networks.
The formal agreements are between Satcom and Honeywell, and Aircell and Honeywell, which is the designated business aviation reseller for Inmarsat’s GX Aviation Ka-band connectivity services.
Miranda Mills, Inmarsat President, Aviation, said: “It’s an exciting time to be a part of the in-flight connectivity market. GX will offer operators the first high-speed, globally available and reliable in-flight global connectivity service. The operational and cost benefits to aircraft operators will be significant. With its strong background in aeronautical satellite communications, Satcom1 is the ideal partner to promote the benefits of GX to business aviation operators around the globe.”
Mills continued: “GX Aviation is rapidly gathering momentum and everything is coming into place. The first satellite is scheduled to be available to support a launch as early as December this year. The development of the ground infrastructure is progressing as planned and Honeywell is moving ahead with the airborne terminals.
“With the addition of Aircell to our list of distribution partners, we have signed up all the major in-flight connectivity service providers and we are already having very positive discussions with aircraft owners and operators.”
The combined GX Aviation network and hardware is scheduled to be commercially available in early 2015, providing high speed broadband services with complete global coverage for all aircraft requirements, both in the cockpit and the cabin.
Using Ka-band technology, GX Aviation will be the first globally available high-speed broadband network. It will offer the unique combination of global coverage from a single operator, consistent higher performance with true broadband speeds, and the network reliability for which Inmarsat is renowned.
John Wade, Aircell’s Executive Vice President and General Manager, said, “We’re pleased to be selected to offer this important new service to the business aviation market. Aircell already offers one of the most comprehensive in-flight connectivity portfolios in the industry, and offering GX Aviation service is a very logical addition.”
The first of the Inmarsat-5 satellites which will make up the GX constellation is currently in final preparation for shipment at Boeing’s El Segundo satellite manufacturing facility. It will be traveling to Kazakhstan in the next few weeks. GX Aviation is scheduled to enter service in early 2015.