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Advanced passenger communications from Rockwell Collins | Business Aviation BlogIt has been announced that Rockwell Collins will provide its Venue cabin management and passenger communications solution on the new Bombardier Global 5000 and Global 6000 aircraft from Q3 this year.

Venue gives the modern business jet a comprehensive solution to deliver advanced IFE and cabin management with boardroom applications. As corporate travellers continue to demand faster and more reliable passenger communications, Venue is the perfect solution with scalable features to allow cost-effective additions in technology as they become available.

Venue is Rockwell Collins’ most advanced cabin management system available, and has been implemented by more than 850 private jets around the world.

Passenger communications solutions are also available for business aircraft of all sizes through Rockwell Collins’ dedicated business aviation services provider, ARINCDirect.

aviation_cabinGogo has announced that its IFE connectivity product, Gogo Vision is improving, and has started to ‘return more interesting dollars’ at last.

The company, who supply IFE connectivity solutions for both business and commercial aircraft have admitted that a lot of its content does not get to airlines, as they offer many smaller, independent films and documentaries, and an opt-in functionality for passengers.

As passenger demand increases for cabin connectivity, providers are under pressure to provide superfast connection rates for live streaming. Other providers, such as Rockwell Collins’ Cabin Connect, also deliver the opportunity to operate IFE, and cabin connectivity for passengers and crew via a single installation, and satellite communications networks.

Inmarsat Satellite Communications Systems for Business AviationInmarsat, British satellite communications network is considering the possibility of becoming a direct provider of its integrated air-to-ground (ATG)-S band inflight connectivity service, soon to be launched in Europe. Currently, Inmarsat partners with resellers for its services.

Leo Mondale, Inmarsat president of aviation said, “Going direct is not a strategy or goal of ours per say, but we’re looking at a pretty dramatically changing environment when giant name brands in telecommunications are entering the business, and so there is much higher interest in adjacent markets like mobile communications to cause us to want to study the right way to go to the market.”

Although no fixed plans have been settled, Inmarsat are considering an industry sector that is consistently selling bundles, and following ViaSat’s decision to sell directly to airlines, partnering with Thales/LiveTV, the satellite giant is looking at the sector with a different set of eyes.

“We are actually just a connectivity provider,” says Mondale. We don’t build equipment, and we don’t want to sell content. Our bundle is multiple connectivity platforms, given to the right geography, irrespective of what type of aircraft or how big a fleet. That makes us different because we’re not saying ‘buy IFE and we’ll give you connectivity for free’. We say ‘you decide, and we want to give you the best connectivity.”

Inmarsat are in no hurry to make a decision, and are considering all their options. Current reseller partnerships will not be affected.

Inflight Connectivity Providers for Business AviationMiddle Eastern & African airlines are exploring solutions to boost passenger numbers, while making improvements to operational productivity, efficiency and connectivity across all areas of operations.

Throughout the region, the market is coming into its own with Wi-Fi connectivity at the top of the list for passenger satisfaction. Consequently, this sector is becoming competitive as companies vie for the best connections at the best prices.

WirelessG, a South African-based Wi-Fi telecommunications provider has made claims to have launched the world’s first mobile service offering customers a 3G/4G data bundle that can be used on the ground or in the air – 3G, ADSL, Wi-Fi and In-flight Wi-Fi – on a single online platform. There are still technical issues, according to their CEO.

“The Ku-band satellite service we received was relatively very stable. Our airline partner did an excellent job in supporting the service onboard,” says Mr van de Merwe. “Our major problem for two years was that we could not get our in-flight Wi-Fi services out of the ‘beta’ stage in order to meet the telecommunications uptime standards we are used to when providing Wi-Fi on the ground. In our specific case, we have had too many in-flight Wi-Fi hardware problems over our first two years.”

“You cannot fix a plane while it is flying,” he continued. “You have to wait for a suitable time at minimum opportunity cost to the airline. That can take between one week and one month. A new benchmark for in-flight Wi-Fi technology solution providers is therefore to provide and support onboard in-flight telecommunications solutions that support a telecommunications carrier grade model with reliability standards that at least match aviation operation service schedules. Maybe our standards and expectations are too high at this point in time, but we refuse to take our service out of beta until it meets our standards.”

Across the world, the demand for in-flight connectivity is increasing and not just in the cabin. Applications for real-time information on the flight deck also enhances the experience for the flight crew. Swift decision making can be facilitated by reliable connectivity, yet to be completely effective, the system required seamless connections with smooth band-switching.

Business Passengers Enjoy Full ConnectivityBusiness passengers demand high levels of cabin electronics these days to enable them to work as effectively in the air as they can on the ground. The most highly sought-after commodities being aircraft internet, high-speed connections to download presentations and business documents and the ability to research and access email accounts.

In addition, however, there is also an increasing requirement for ambient lighting, charging facilities for phones and tablets, HD flat screen TV, video and in-flight entertainment features.

In an ever-changing marketplace, it is almost impossible to keep up with the technology; the solutions to these requirements getting faster, more sophisticated and with higher-quality connections.

ARINC Direct stay ahead of the competition with seamless connectivity for business passengers via satellite communications from Inmarsat and Iridium networks. High-speed and high-quality connections offer a truly global coverage with flight tracking capabilities that are also increasing in demand in the wake of the tragic disappearance of flight MH370.

Business passengers travel in comfort and can continue to work effectively with scalable cabin electronics solutions from ARINC Direct.

Passenger Connectivity Communications Providers

Thaicom, a leading satellite communications provider in Asia Pacific, has selected Hughes Network Systems to deliver satellite broadband technology for passenger connectivity for SE Asian airlines in partnership with Global Eagle Entertainment.

“Thaicom has expanded our In-flight Connectivity (IFC) offering as a part of our Mobility Services, utilizing the latest satellite-based communications technologies that have extensively served sea-air-land connectivity targeting customers in Thailand and Southeast Asia,” said Dr. Sakon Kittivatcharapong, senior vice president of Ground System Operations at Thaicom PLC. “With In-flight Connectivity our airline partners will gain significant advantages by reducing operational costs while adding more value to their services.”

As passenger connectivity in the rear of the plane is becoming as increasingly important to airline operations as the connectivity in the cockpit, airlines are feeling the pressure to provide end-to-end cabin services. Satellite networks partnerships give seamless passenger connectivity for in-flight broadband and in-flight entertainment at costs that are becoming more and more competitive. With the rules beginning to relax about the use of personal tablets in the cabin, and the bandwidth capabilities growing, we can soon envisage the marketplace competition getting decidedly heavier.

In-flight Internet Solutions for Business Aviation

American Airlines plans for 30 new Bombardier CRJ-900 NextGen regional jet aircraft will begin this month with the arrival of the first of the fleet. In a bid to provide ATG connectivity, the company has announced an agreement with Gogo, aero communications service provider, to install their systems for in-flight internet connectivity.

“American Airlines was the first commercial airline to launch connectivity service with Gogo, and we are excited to continue to build on our longstanding relationship with American by extending Wi-Fi service to passengers flying on its new regional jets,” said Michael Small, Gogo’s president and CEO.

In-flight internet is fast becoming a pre-requisite for business passengers in todays’ modern skies. The expectation is for connectivity to be as reliable and seamless as it is on the ground in order for business to be conducted as efficiently as the office.

Many business jet communications providers are supportive of the initiative and costs for installation and operation is competitive. The race for reasonably-priced, and above all, reliable in flight internet is gathering momentum across the globe as demand accelerates.

Broadband for Business Aviation ConnectivityBusiness aviation connectivity is set for an upgrade next year with faster in-flight broadband speeds promised by Honeywell and AT&T. Honeywell have announced that they will be providing the hardware for a new 4G network service from AT&T that could potentially, based upon current capabilities, offer download speeds ranging from 16.65 to 66.11 Mbps and upload speeds of 7.43 Mbps.

These speeds could enable business aviation passengers to watch video, text and Internet surf in addition to the data messaging benefits for flight deck communications and cabin services.

Using the new Ka-band GX aviation service, these speeds promise to be the fastest to date.

Honeywell will provide the hardware, including antennas, for access to the network and will be developed to work with the Inmarsat L-band and new Global Xpress Ka-band satellite networks, giving connectivity the chance to stretch its legs beyond the continental U.S.

Business aviation currently enjoys global connectivity with other providers, such as ViaSat’s Yonder service and ARINC Direct’s range of passenger and cabin communications solutions.