Next week’s European Business Aviation Convention and Exhibition (EBACE) in Geneva will showcase the latest in inflight connectivity for business aircraft operators.
The event, which takes place from 22 to 24 May 2017 at Geneva’s Palexpo, will showcase more than 500 exhibitors and 60 business aircraft on static display.
Inflight connectivity is a hot topic at the event and “Get Connected’s” Steve Nichols plans to be there and bring you the latest news. But who is exhibiting and what will they be showing?
Inmarsat will be promoting its Jet ConneX and SwiftBroadband options at Ebace. Jet ConneX is the name for the business aviation arm of its Ka-band GX Aviation offering, delivering up to 50Mbps to a fuselage-mounted antenna for larger aircraft and 15-30Mbps to a tail-mounted parabolic antenna for smaller bizjets.
The JetWave hardware has been developed by Honeywell.
Operators can choose from a range of monthly data packages that specify the speeds they need and the amount of data in Gigabytes.
Inmarsat now has three in-service I-5 geostationary satellites in orbit and another on its way – I-5 F4 is due to launch in the early hours of Tuesday 16th May (European time) from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida.
The company announced the Commercial Service Introduction (CSI) of Jet ConneX, at NBAA last year.
It says Jet ConneX offers passengers an onboard connectivity service that is reliable, high-speed and on par with broadband available on the ground.
At Ebace, Panasonic Avionics will be promoting its Ku-band business aviation offering, which has been developed with Astronics.
With prioritised traffic and bandwidth optimised for the business aviation market, Panasonic says it offers a superior customer experience. Panasonic’s open architecture network means they can easily scale their worldwide satellite network to meet growing bandwidth needs of this key market.
The partnership combines Astronics’ tail-mounted satcom solutions with Panasonic’s Global Communications Services to offer high-speed, dedicated broadband data internet services; four channels of global television services and regional DBS-TV programming, all from a single antenna.
These products are Astronics’ FliteStream T-210 and T-220 Ku-band antennas.
ViaSat will be showcasing its Ka- and Ku-band products at Ebace.
At the last event, ViaSat signed a multi-year agreement with Dassault Aviation to deliver bundled global Ku-band broadband inflight connectivity, inclusive of in-cabin network equipment.
The company is also looking to the future with plans for its ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 Ka-band satellites.
ViaSat-2 is due for launch in on June 1 2017 and will extend the company’s Ka-band coverage over the Atlantic Ocean, plus add additional capacity over Canada and Central America.
The satellite will double the throughput capacity of ViaSat-1, giving around 450 Gbps of combined capacity. Include the Ka-band Eutelsat KA-SAT over Europe and the company will have access to more than 500 Gbps of capacity, stretching from Los Angeles to Istanbul.
Looking further ahead, adding the ViaSat-3 constellation will eventually bring three terabits globally from around 2020.
Satcom Direct (SD) promises a number of new product announcements at Ebace.
The company has its solutions on more than 7,000 aircraft and is celebrating its 20th anniversary at Ebace.
In 2016 it added two new satellite systems to its portfolio – Inmarsat’s Ka-band Jet ConneX and Panasonic’s Ku-band solution for business aviation and government customers.
Michael Skou Christensen, Satcom Direct’s Managing Director, EMEA, said it is now the world’s largest business aviation service provider.
“We have more than 400 employees in 16 locations with account managers around the world,” Skou Christensen said. “Our aim is to be within three hours flying time of all of our customers.”
SITAONAIR is on its home territory in Geneva and will be talking about its inflight connectivity options for VIP and Head of State (HoS) aircraft.
It says it will be demonstrating how it can help business aircraft operators unlock connected aircraft value.
Its product offerings includes both Inmarsat SwiftBroadband and the faster Jet ConneX.
Rockwell Collins/ARINCDirect will also be showing how business jet passengers can connect to Jet ConneX with their laptop, tablet and smartphone over the aircraft’s Wi-Fi system from the moment they step on board, wherever they fly.
The company also supports a breadth of options and value added services to meet user’s phone, fax, voice and data needs, including Inmarsat SwiftBroadband, Iridium and Yonder.
Gogo Business Aviation will also be showcasing its solutions, including both air-to-ground (ATG) for North America and satellite (Global).
The other highlight will be Gogo’s new fast 4G ATG service, which will include services such as Gogo Vision, providing the latest movies and TV episodes, flight tracker and weather reports.
Additional features include Gogo Text & Talk, allowing passengers to call and text with their personal smart phones and mobile numbers; streaming video and audio; as well as face-to-face conversations with a user’s favourite applications; email with attachments; and web browsing – in the continental U.S. and large portions of Alaska and Canada.
Created specifically for the business aviation market, Gogo’s 4G ATG system is a specially-designed application of Gogo’s air-to-ground technology that leverages its existing ground network of more than 250 towers, fibre backhaul and technology that has already flown hundreds of thousands of hours aboard thousands of business and commercial aircraft.
The 4G equipment package incorporates a dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi service and a host of other features – all from a single, lightweight box.
Gogo says it now has 17,000 systems in flight.
Other companies to look out for at Ebace include Eclipse, which specialises in VVIP and HoS applications, and IDAIR, a one-stop shop for tailored products and systems for VVIP customers and commercial airlines.