NBAA: Inmarsat’s Ka-band Jet ConneX enters service

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Inmarsat Aviation signInmarsat has announced the Commercial Service Introduction (CSI) of Jet ConneX, its next-generation Ka-band in-flight broadband service for business aviation customers.

It says Jet ConneX offers passengers an onboard connectivity service that is reliable, high-speed and on par with broadband available on the ground.

It enables web browsing, live television streaming, file downloads and more, with seamless global coverage that ensures a consistent service on flight routes worldwide.

Kurt Weidemeyer, Inmarsat’s Vice President of Business and General Aviation, said: “Jet ConneX has been developed over a number of years as a transformative connectivity service for the business aviation industry.

“Interest from the market has been overwhelming and we are delighted to have now reached the exciting milestone of commercial service introduction.

Jet ConneX

Inmarsat's Kurt Weidemeyer
Inmarsat’s Kurt Weidemeyer

“A rigorous testing process for Jet ConneX was successfully completed over the past eight months, with the support of our customers, distribution partners and Honeywell, the only authorised manufacturer of the hardware needed to access the service.

“We logged thousands of flight hours, flew to every continent in the world and ran hundreds of tests to put the system under stresses that are well beyond that expected in normal business passenger use. All to ensure we have the most reliable, high speed broadband for private jet flights in the world.”

Carl Esposito, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management, Honeywell Aerospace, added: “As the exclusive hardware provider and master airtime service distributor for Jet ConneX, Honeywell has been attracting strong market demand even before the service’s commercial service introduction was achieved.

JetWave hardware

Honeywell's Jack Jacobs and its tail-mounted JetWave antenna for Jet ConneX.
Honeywell’s Jack Jacobs and its tail-mounted JetWave antenna.

“There are eight aircraft models that have been certified for JetWave installation and more than 20 certifications in progress – with hardware delivering now.

“Business jet operators are demanding access to fast in-flight Wi-Fi and Honeywell is excited to substantially raise the standards for the business aviation industry with Inmarsat.”

Jet ConneX customers will have high-speed connectivity over 100% of major aircraft routes and every island globally, off major routes. Inmarsat has demonstrated that customers will have sufficient speed to stream Netflix, while sending emails, and text messages – all simultaneously while flying at 500mph.

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Jet ConneX for business aviation provides data plans and speeds to accommodate the needs of multiple users, all at the same time, in the same aircraft.

Huge demand

Kurt Weidemeyer, Inmarsat’s VP Strategy and Business, spoke to “Get Connected” before the launch. He said.: “We already have a lot of pre-orders for customers upgrading to GX from SwiftBroadband. The demand is huge.”

Weidemeyer said that the tail-mount antenna for smaller business aircraft is proving to be more efficient than they originally thought.

“Testing has shown that we can get throughputs of up to around 38Mbps to the tail-mount, which is higher than the 30-33Mbps we originally designed for.”

Bombardier Global 6000 equipped with Jet ConneX at Ebace, May 2016.
Bombardier Global 6000 at Ebace, May 2016.

The tail-mount antenna was tested originally on Honeywell’s Dassault Falcon 900, but other manufacturers are also being covered.

Inmarsat said that Jet ConneX is now available on all Dassault Aviation aircraft.

This was achieved after existing radomes for Dassault Aviation’s 7X/8X and aftermarket F900 aircraft group aircraft were tested and authorised to operate with the exclusive JetWave Ka-band hardware, manufactured by Inmarsat’s partner Honeywell for the Jet ConneX service.

Dedicated Ka-band radomes for Jet ConneX are expected to be available for Dassault Aviation aircraft in 2017, improving connectivity service levels on the private jets even further.

Bombardier announced in September that all existing Global aircraft customers can now take advantage of ultra-high-speed inflight Jet ConneX internet access with seamless coverage across the globe.

Awarded a supplemental type certificate, Bombardier WAVE (Wireless Access Virtually Everywhere) can now be installed on all Bombardier Global 5000 and Global 6000 aircraft, as well as previous Global aircraft models as a retrofit.

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