Inmarsat and Rockwell Collins have signed the final agreement to make Rockwell Collins a Value Added Reseller (VAR) of Inmarsat’s Ka-band GX Aviation service to the commercial air transport market.
GX Aviation is currently scheduled to be globally available for the commercial air transport market by the end of the first half of 2015.
It will provide connectivity speeds of up to 50Mbps virtually everywhere in the world and providing opportunities to bring value added services to the cabin, such as enabling in-flight entertainment to add real-time TV, video-on-demand, and allowing standard email and web browsing at much faster speeds.
Jeff Standerski, senior vice president, Information Management Services (IMS) for Rockwell Collins, said: “This service brings new possibilities for our ARINC Cabin Connect service that go far beyond what’s available today, including expandable bandwidth that will give passengers the same connectivity experience they have in their home and office, and the capability to accommodate future devices and applications
“By combining GX with our current L-Band services, we’ll also be able to provide our airline customers with a complete portfolio of connectivity options for a full range of applications from the cockpit to the cabin.”
Rockwell Collins can also bring new capabilities to its existing cabin products, such as PAVES On Demand in-flight entertainment and its Airshow moving map systems.
Leo Mondale, President, Aviation at Inmarsat, said: “This agreement builds on and extends our working relationship with Rockwell Collins – in both avionics and services – that started more than 20 years ago.
“Our Ka-band solution enables us to meet the rapidly growing demand for passenger connectivity. Rockwell Collins is a key partner for the full portfolio of existing Inmarsat Aviation services, and will be one of the first to bring the new, exciting GX Aviation service to its large airline customer base.
“We have built the very best team of aviation companies to ensure airlines have excellent access to GX Aviation.”
The first of the three initial GX Aviation satellites is already in orbit and began delivering commercial services on 1st July 2014.
Inmarsat currently expects to complete the next two launches in a timeframe to permit the introduction of GX services on a global basis by the end of the first half of 2015.
Inmarsat warned in May that the launch of the next two of its Ka-band GX satellites was likely to be delayed after yet another International Launch Services (ILS) Proton launch vehicle failure.
The airborne hardware, developed by Honeywell Aerospace, is now in the certification phase and is on track to support the launch of GX Aviation in 2015.