Inmarsat has announced its next generation in-flight broadband service, GX for Aviation, has gone live under a ‘soft launch’ phase with Lufthansa.
The launch was unveiled during an evening reception organised by Inmarsat for airlines, partners and the media at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, where the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) is currently hosting its annual exhibition.
Note that Inmarsat has subtly changed the name of the live service from “GX Aviation” to “GX for Aviation”.
Inmarsat says “GX for Aviation” is the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator.
It allows airline passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience on par with broadband services available on the ground.
Lufthansa will commence commercial passenger services with GX for Aviation next month. Other customers of the Ka-band solution include Singapore Airlines and Air Astana.
Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “After several years of detailed planning and development, this is the moment that Inmarsat, and indeed the global aviation industry, has been waiting for.
GX for Aviation
“GX for Aviation is now live and offering unparalleled in-flight broadband to passengers. We have moved from systems integration and testing to rolling out the most robust and comprehensive global connectivity solution for airlines across the world.
“GX for Aviation is not a patchwork solution. Our customers are not subject to the intermittent services and handover issues experienced by other providers.
“Billions of dollars and years of engineering have been invested to ensure that GX for Aviation delivers a solution that is not just robust, but transformative. Passengers using GX for Aviation will have on-the-ground levels of connectivity and uninterrupted access to the applications they use day-to-day, including email, web browsing, social media, video and music streaming, and online shopping, among others.”
Inmarsat was awarded a contract in October 2015 to provide in-flight connectivity services for passengers onboard Lufthansa’s European continental fleet of more than 150 aircraft.
The contract formalised the start of a 10-year strategic partnership between Lufthansa Group and Inmarsat, and provided a framework to extend the service to other airline brands in the Group.
The go-live of GX for Aviation follows a successful cooperation with Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Systems, who together with Inmarsat have started the process of installing the broadband solution’s hardware and software on selected aircraft in the Lufthansa fleet.
Airlines will connect to the GX network using advanced new JetWave terminals produced by Inmarsat partner Honeywell Aerospace, with more than 300 aircraft already committed to the system and more to come.
The exclusive terminals are designed for ease of installation and maintenance to assure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market, allowing installation with minimal labour and using standard tools available in maintenance hangars.