Tag Archives: in-flight connectivity

Other Leading Providers of Inflight Internet & CommunicationsGogo, global aviation communications providers, who recently acquired FAA regulatory approval for its in-flight connectivity solution, has today announced that it may break its own records for installs during 2015.

With a backlog of more than 1000 commercial aircraft installs and a growing base in the business aviation sector, the company expects that at least 50% of its backlog will be scheduled and installed this year, which will break records for the company, who also expect to bring online 500 additional commercial sector installs by the end of the year.

In-flight connectivity solutions are big business this year and with upgrades and retrofits for NextGen systems, Gogo and other global communications providers are in for a busy time!

Other Passenger In-flight Connectivity Providers for Business JetsGogo, Illinois-based global aviation communications provider, has today announced that it has received FCC regulatory approval to air its latest in-flight connectivity solution on 1000 aircraft.

Operating the 2Ku system is a big step for Gogo, with its NextGen technology, which they expect to be available after the summer of this year. Gogo say they expect the new, 4.5inch antenna to deliver peak speeds of more than 70 Mbps to the aircraft.

Michael Small, president and CEO of Gogo said, “Clearing the necessary regulatory hurdles to provide this service to an aircraft flying anywhere around the globe is no small feat. Gogo has proven it is a leader at navigating these environments for all aircraft types no matter where they fly. We are happy that the launch of 2Ku is proceeding as planned and are continuing to work with the FAA on approval for installation.”

The introduction of NextGen technology for commercial aircraft is going to be welcomed by airlines and passengers, with global expectation for in-flight connectivity growing. Currently, business aviation operators enjoy seamless connectivity through Inmarsat SwiftBroadband and Iridium satellite networks providers.

Enhanced Cabin Services with Rockwell CollinsFollowing a recent GX Aviation Added Value Reseller deal with Inmarsat, Rockwell Collins have announced enhancements to their ARINC Cabin Connect suite, the company’s leading in-flight connectivity for cabin services platform. The enhancements will benefit both passengers and airlines as the latest Ka-band services bring greater possibilities to the aviation industry.

Rockwell Collins will use the increased bandwidth and high-speed connectivity to offer real-time TV and TV on-demand in addition to the launch of a new capability that will give passengers the opportunity to use mobile phones onboard to send and receive, where approved, SMS messages and make voice calls over the internet.

Airlines will notice an immediate benefit with Cabin Connect, as the elimination of the need for separate on-board cell phone and Wi-Fi network equipment will significantly reduce weight and installation costs, while allowing extra potential for value-added services.

“Our knowledge of how communications platforms work, combined with our systems integration expertise, enables Rockwell Collins to create solutions that meet the specific needs of our global aviation customers,” said Michael DiGeorge, vice president of international and global airports for Rockwell Collins. “Expanding our ARINC Cabin Connect capabilities through Inmarsat’s high-speed service will provide airlines and their customers with new services designed to meet the ever-growing demand for accessing information and in-flight entertainment.”

Another benefit in addition to passenger connectivity using Cabin Connect will be the new tools designed to enhance airline efficiency. Rockwell Collins’ information management capabilities feature a dashboard that will allow airlines to access monitoring for system-critical elements including cabin applications utilisation and fleet information.

“Because we offer nose-to-tail solutions, we have a tremendous amount of valuable information we can provide to airlines about their aircraft,” said DiGeorge. “With this dashboard, we are putting that information into an easy-to-use format that helps airlines to improve their operational decision making.”

Superior Cabin Services Solutions ProvidersIn a bid to look at new ways to improve passenger experience and maximise revenue, multiple companies are now data-mining to find out what passengers really think of aircraft cabins, cabin services In-Flight Entertainment, connectivity capabilities and more.

The creation of a ‘passenger experience’ database is seen by many as a real asset to airlines in terms of potential cabin add-ons and for designers when looking at the future of aviation travel. A comprehensive database will tell the industry leaders exactly what is required.

“I can see why a ‘passenger experience’ database would be a big benefit. It would give valuable feedback to airlines, and to suppliers in the end,” says aircraft interiors and IFE integration specialist Kosta Gianakopoulos. “Look at the experience of buying a car. Before you had the Internet, you’d simply go to the dealership to learn about a new car. But now you can do all the research on the Internet, read reviews, and go to the dealership and educate the sales guy. Why not book a flight armed with the same type of detail?”

Looking at the in-flight connectivity sector data is interesting stuff. “Anyone who flies knows that some connectivity is better than none,” says John Walton, Routehappy’s director of data. “But with the flood of approvals for satellite Wi-Fi following the FAA birdstrike testing, the wave of increasingly better Wi-Fi is cresting. We know what the maximum bandwidth and transfer speed are for each technology, so we’re explaining it to everyday flyers in ways that are easy to understand and familiar to them. People have experienced glacial speeds with older technologies, and it’s time to explain that if connectivity is important to you, you have some really good options out there.”

Data mining is in every other sector of industry and public opinion really does count in a world of competitive pricing and budget airlines. What better way to gain an edge on the competition than by giving the customer what he wants? Cabin services matter to passengers and a grasp of public opinion is vital in this consumer age.

In-flight Connectivity Solutions ProvidersBritish satellite communications company, Inmarsat has announced its intention to deliver high-speed, EU-wide in-flight connectivity with a unique integrated telecommunications network including an order for a new s-band satellite, Europasat.

“We believe that the same in-flight connectivity opportunity exists in Europe and that, with the support of EU telecoms regulators, Inmarsat can rapidly bring to market unique, high speed aviation passenger connectivity services to meet this market demand on an EU-wide basis,” said Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce.

Inmarsat capabilities already include seamless coverage via Global Xpress and will place them ahead of the competition for in-flight connectivity for passengers.

Widespread interest is being shown by major airlines and passengers could soon be looking forward to the same connectivity that is currently only enjoyed by the business aviation community, with the deployment of Europe’s first 4G broadband network.

Currently, the company are working on shared system to reduce initial costs in partnership with Hellas-Sat, a non-competing European satellite operator and Thales Alenia Space for the construction of a satellite on a shared basis. Europasat will also support the next-gen emergency network services for public protection and disaster relief.

The aviation network deployment, planned for the end of 2016, will be enabled by Inmarsat’s current existing authorisation to operate integrated satellite and terrestrial communications in 30MHz of S-band frequencies spanning the 28 Member States of the European Union. The licensing process has already begun with EU member states and Inmarsat has received strong support for its application from a high number of EU telecommunications regulators. It is hoped that a consistent regulatory foundation can be accomplished quickly in order to facilitate the swift implementation of the services for the benefit of businesses and passengers across the EU.

Leading Cabin Services Solutions ProvidersThe partnership of Honeywell and Inmarsat has announced that they have completed the critical design review (CDR) for the GX Aviation avionics, and hope to gain certification later this year. Once certification is achieved, the product is expected to be introduced in spring 2015.

The GX Aviation system will bring ‘home equivalent’ wireless internet to both passenger aircraft and business jets elevating the experience for passengers in terms of connectivity and cabin services.

This follows the successful launch of Inmarsat’s latest Ka-band satellites, Inmarsat-5 F1, the first of three that will be launched this year. The new network will enhance global coverage and offer the high-speed connections that are in increasing demand in the industry.

The review will enable continued progress and is a milestone for the joint-managed project.

In-Flight Connectivity Solutions ProvidersOnly weeks after the U.S. lifted the ban on in-flight connectivity, Global Eagle Entertainment showcased their new satellite Internet system at the Consumer Electronics Show.

The company claims that their satellite connection provides a more reliable system than air-to-ground providers.

“The satellite is already there and it’s possible to have more bandwidth when needed,” said Simon McLellan, chief engineer for Row44, the technology division of California-based Global Eagle, continuing his explanation that a satellite connection, “allows you to expand the capacity when the demand grows.”

With the demand for passenger in-flight connectivity with mobiles and tablets, and with the limitations lifted, the sky is no longer the limit for aviation communications providers.

Global Eagle have already signed a deal with Southwest Airlines and are set to rival Gogo, who have announced modifications to their ground-based connections in order to provide a hybrid system that will utilise both land and satellite transmissions.

Installation and set up of the system will cost carriers in the region of $300,000 to $500,000 – a cost that will be recouped via passenger fees for the use of the in-flight connectivity services. Some carriers may offer a free connection to premium or first class passengers, but demand is so great for in-flight connectivity, that it will become a matter of competitive interest over the coming year.

Business aviation passengers travelling on private aircraft have enjoyed in-flight connectivity for some time, as expectations are high for these premium services when high-end executive travellers need to operated effectively in their airborne offices.

It is expected that many providers will follow the trend for in-flight connectivity, in spite of the mixed bag of opinions from some big airlines – we shall see!