The need to stay in touch means there are very few places where you can escape the reach of your mobile device. An airplane was one of the last remaining places for a legitimate excuse to say you could not answer a call, but that is no longer the case. The technology now has advanced to where you can watch TV on your wireless device while you are on a flight. Using the first global Ka-band network, Inmarsat will be able to provide passengers with true live TV transmission as well as ultrahigh capacity Internet connectivity.
The technology is a collaborative effort between OnAir and Inmarsat (News - Alert). The two companies specialize in offering communication technologies private and public organizations for air, maritime and land based application around the world.
“We are delighted to be working with Inmarsat to bring passengers the next generation of inflight connectivity, with the introduction of live TV being one of the highlights, the provision of a consistent global service is particularly important for our customers, so that they know exactly what to expect, wherever and whenever they fly,” said Ian Dawkins, CEO of OnAir (News - Alert).
The service will be introduced in late 2014 with data rates and bandwidth capability of providing 50mbps outbound and 4.4mbps inbound to and from the plane while it is in flight. The Ka-band network will provide consistent global coverage and with the combined network of more than 80 regulatory approvals and 350 plus roaming agreements with mobile operators the consumer will be able to get coverage across the world.
“We have a very strong history with OnAir,” said Leo Mondale, Managing Director of Inmarsat Global Xpress (GX). “We have every confidence that OnAir will deliver value to airlines and passengers with Global Xpress in the same way.”
Currently OnAir uses Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB) in order to provide in-flight Internet access. When Inmarsat introduces GX the company will switch to the new platform to provide the newest technology available for in-flight telephony and data services. According Inmarsat the Ku-band currently being used “is showing signs of reaching saturation point,” and with the increase of smartphones and other data intensive mobile devices a new technology has to be introduced.
The system uses a single antenna attached to the aircraft to deliver voice and data transmission throughout the entire plane. The service is available globally except in extreme Polar Regions with high grade secure and encryption communication standards. It will be delivered with three new Inmarsat-5 satellites from Boeing (News - Alert).
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Edited by Brooke Neuman