The development of a high-speed ‘hybrid’ air-to-ground SATCOM service is being discussed in a new partnership agreement between Alcatel-Lucent and British satellite communications company, Inmarsat this week. The ATG SATCOM service will provide a new telecom network for commercial and business aviation operators throughout Europe and promises to deliver speeds of up to 75 Mbps.
Combining Alcatel’s 4G LTE S-band technology with Inmarsat’s Europasat will offer a new broadband service ‘Europe-wide’. The partnership are collaborating on the ground network and have submitted applications for licenses in all EU member states, 23 of which have already been authorised according to Inmarsat. As yet, no customers or hardware partners have been formally named, but the companies revealed that they are in ongoing discussions.
Leo Mondale, Inmarsat president, said, “These enhanced capabilities across Europe will be offered alongside Inmarsat’s GX aviation services, extending Inmarsat’s broadband service coverage for aviation passengers seamlessly.”
Commercial introduction is expected towards the end of 2016, although field trials have already been conducted of the Alcatel-Lucent system back in 2011.