With inflight connectivity becoming more of a necessity than a luxury, passengers' expectations of global coverage has also leapfrogged. They expect to use their mobile phones, smartphones, tablets and laptops and get the same experience they do with terrestrial broadband.
OnAir, which has reportedly set the benchmark for global inflight connectivity services, is helping to make that happen by using Inmarsat's (News - Alert) I4 satellite networks.
By virtue of the contract, OnAir will become the first aviation distribution partner for Global Express (GX), regarded as the first global Ka - band network to provide inflight broadband connectivity for the aeronautical market.
OnAir (News - Alert) – which currently uses Inmarsat SwiftBroadband (SBB) to provide inflight connectivity, either through the onboard GSM network or Wi-Fi hotspot – has been jointly working with Inmarsat to make the transition from SBB to GX.
Appointed as Inmarsat's first SBB distribution partner back in 2006, OnAir was awarded for being the greatest contributor to SBB growth. Leo Mondale, managing director of Inmarsat GX, believes OnAir will deliver the same value to airlines and passengers with Global Express.
GX will provide passengers with ultrahigh-capacity Internet connectivity, backed by Inmarsat's quality standards, performance and global reach.
It will allow true live TV transmission as well.
Combined with OnAir's unique network of over 80 regulatory approvals and more than 350 roaming agreements with mobile network operators, GX is stated to be the only Ka- band network designed to provide consistent global coverage.
"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 at OnAir.
By becoming a provider of both global SBB and GX services for commercial aviation, OnAir will remain at the forefront of the sector. Global Express is scheduled for service introduction in the latter half of 2014.
Scandinavian Avionics has integrated OnAir and TriaGnoSys inflight Internet access to their first commercial aircraft – the Russian Tupolev VIP jet. Passengers can now go online at broadband speeds on their mobile devices during flights on the Tupolev jet.
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Edited by Braden Becker