Satcom Direct sees big potential for bizav in Gulf region

Derek Donahue, Satcom Direct's Regional Director for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, (EEMEA).
Derek Donahue, Satcom Direct’s Regional Director for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, (EEMEA).

Connectivity specialist Satcom Direct says it sees great potential for its business aviation solutions in the Gulf region.

Speaking at the 2016 Bahrain Air Show, Derek Donahue, Satcom Direct’s (SD) Regional Director for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, (EEMEA), said: “We anticipate that in 2016 our Middle Eastern clients will want more of everything – speed, bandwidth, applications – and will use connectivity tools even more intensely.

“To support this increased demand we are expanding numbers in our Dubai office and have created our own dedicated in-house activation team. This will make it easier and quicker for clients to get online and use their SD products.”

At the show the company is promoting its SD FlightLogs solution that provides aircraft operators with an electronic flight log that automates the tracking of aircraft movements.

SD FlightLogs is the first web-based system designed to intuitively manage aircraft flight log data and so reduce manual user input. It gives the aircraft operator a smart system that includes user guidance, virtually eliminates human error, and provides access to flight data in real-time.

The service is powered by SD’s FlightDeck Freedom (FDF) solution and auto-captures data, calculating and recording flight time and cycle events while creating an electronic record documenting flight information leg-by-leg.

“We anticipate this state-of-the-art technology, that enables you to track a multi-million dollar asset, will be well received by visitors to the show,” said Donahue.

“SD FlightLogs also gives every member of the flight operation real-time access to the live data, keeping them in sync with the aircraft. At the same time, it creates a database of movement and maintenance information that can be tracked over the life of the aircraft.”

The company is also promoting its GlobalVT app, which works with the Satcom Direct Router (SDR) and enables passengers to use their own mobile (cellphone) number on their smartphone while in-flight, anywhere in the world.

The service acts like a global cellular roaming service, routeing all calls and texts to a passenger’s smartphone number via a satellite connection.

All passengers need to do is download and install the app to enable the service. They then switch their phone to inflight mode and enable a Wi-Fi connection to the onboard SDR.

The GlobalVT app is available for both iOS and Android and allows users to use their own contacts and caller ID. All outgoing calls will correctly show your number as the originator, which increases the chance of it being answered. Incoming calls also correctly display the number of the person calling so the recipient is more likely to answer it.

The Satcom Direct Router (SDR).
The Satcom Direct Router (SDR).

Satcom Direct is also highlighting the benefits of its new Skybond service. Skybond works with the SDR to provide faster in-flight data speeds of up to 1.4 Mbps by combining multiple streaming channels of Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadBand service.

This allows passengers to stream video, music, or use video conferencing, while in-flight, anywhere in the world.

Jet ConneX

The company is also getting ready for the full global launch of Inmarsat’s ultra-fast Ka-band Jet ConneX service.

Jet ConneX is the business aviation variant of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) service that will operate on its high-speed Inmarsat-5 (I-5) satellite constellation. The service promises to deliver global satellite communications services that support high data rate applications in-flight, including streaming YouTube videos and Skype video calls, in real-time.

Inmarsat has confirmed that all three of its I-5 satellites have now entered commercial service introduction and a fourth GX satellite – Inmarsat-5 F4 – is currently completing construction and testing by Boeing in El Segundo, California. This satellite is now likely to be launched in the second half of 2016 in order to provide additional GX network capacity.

Honeywell has developed both a tail-mounted and a fuselage-mounted antenna for the Jet ConneX service and both should be available early in 2016.

Data packages with a “maximum information rate” of 15Mbps will be available to business aviation customers, which is around 35 times faster than the existing Inmarsat SwiftBroadband service.

To verify the functionality of its aero network and software services over the I-5 network, Satcom Direct conducted tests at its international headquarters in Farnborough, UK, via the initial Inmarsat I-5 satellite (F1), in service over Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

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