• Technology builds on success of eXPhone service which is already installed on over 450 aircraft worldwide

Lake Forest, CA | October 19, 2016– Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) and AeroMobile have today announced the global availability of the new 3G eXPhone system. The new technology builds on the success of Panasonic’s eXPhone service, which is already installed on over 450 aircraft across 19 airlines worldwide. Airlines such as Etihad, Cathay Pacific, Aer Lingus, EuroWings, SAS and Air Serbia have already started to install the 3G technology.

The announcement follows increasing airline adoption of the eXPhone platform and increased customer demand for on-board mobile connectivity. The newly launched 3G technology delivers a richer and faster passenger experience and enables access to a greater number of applications.

The inflight 3G network, which is operated over Panasonic’s eXConnect service, enables a quality and range of services much closer to those experienced on the ground. Faster browsing, bigger attachments, quicker posts, more responsive apps and gaming, all lead to a better connected cabin experience taking travel into a new era.

David Bruner, Vice President of Global Communications Services, Panasonic Avionics Corporation comments: “Our continued partnership with AeroMobile is testament to the eXPhone platform and how it enables airlines to offer mobile connectivity in the aircraft cabin that is easy and simple to connect to and use.

“The technology’s continued success demonstrates how Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity are totally complimentary services, consistently doubling the number of connected users in the cabin and revenue opportunities for the airline.”

Kevin Rogers, Chief Executive Officer at AeroMobile adds: “Passengers carry different devices, have different connectivity needs and have different payment preferences. Passengers each have their own “connected world.”

“We are all used to choice on the ground – choice between mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity – and we are proud that our partnership with Panasonic continues to enable passengers to access different services at different times and pay in different ways.”

Geneva, Switzerland | May 23, 2016– Gogo Inc. (NASDAQ: GOGO), the leading provider of in-flight connectivity and wireless in-flight entertainment solutions to the global aero market, has added Jet ConneX service for business aircraft operators flying globally.

“Gogo is pleased to offer Jet ConneX service to the global business aviation market,” said John Wade, Gogo Business Aviation’s executive vice president and general manager. “Our customers expect Gogo to offer extensive, global support to business aircraft operators who purchase the service. Our back-office systems are in place and our team is prepared to support customers worldwide as the service comes on line.”

With the addition of Jet ConneX service, Gogo Business Aviation offers one of the business aviation market’s widest selections of in-flight voice and data services which include Gogo Biz®, SwiftBroadband, Classic Aero, Swift64, Iridium, terrestrial 3G and Gogo Cloud for automated content delivery.

Gogo’s support capabilities will allow Jet ConneX customers to integrate with other services – including other equipment, network services and in-flight entertainment – for a complete and seamless in-flight digital experience. Gogo customers also receive the convenience of single-source activation, support and consolidated monthly billing.

Gogo will offer innovative airtime and support programs for Jet ConneX, Inmarsat’s Ka-band connectivity service, that will allow customers to select from a range of performance tiers and data packages, using the same Jet ConneX equipment package they have installed on their aircraft.

Jet ConneX Supported Applications

  • Stream TV in real time
  • High-speed broadband Internet access
  • Video calling and conferencing
  • High quality Voice over IP
  • SMS messaging
  • Email
  • Large file transfers
  • VPN access
  • Flight deck and cabin crew applications

To learn more about Gogo’s Jet ConneX offering in Europe, aircraft operators are invited to contact Dave Perry, regional sales manager for Europe, at dperry@gogoair.com.

This week, Gogo Business Aviation is displaying its complete range of in-flight connectivity and entertainment solutions at EBACE 2016. Business aircraft operators are invited to visit Gogo at stand D051. More information is available on Gogo’s EBACE 2016 landing page and by following @GogoBizAv on Twitter for in-show updates.

  • Next generation MSAT system integrates radio, cellular and satcom networks for wider, more reliable and cost effective coverage

Las Vegas, Nevada | March 21, 2016– Cobham SATCOM’s innovative new EXPLORER MSAT-G3 will be shown on the Cobham booth at IWCE 2016 (booth #1055). An innovative new solution, EXPLORER MSAT-G3 is an IP-based Push-To-Talk (PTT) radio communications system that uniquely supports Satellite/3G/LTE/LAN backhaul and Land Mobile Radio (LMR) integration to provide seamless voice communication in any situation.

EXPLORER MSAT-G3 is the next generation MSAT solution utilizing the power of the Ligado Networks (former LightSquared) SkyTerra-1 satellite and ViaSat’s low-latency, IP-based L-band Mobile Satellite Services network. In the field, the system enables critical interoperable communications among homeland security officials, law enforcement, emergency responders, and public safety officials from various departments and agencies across the USA. EXPLORER MSAT-G3 extends coverage by combining satellite links and the existing cellular based networks, which can reduce terrestrial infrastructure costs while introducing significantly improved communications availability in any environment, when on the move. It is designed to cost effectively expand and augment LMR systems and as such, is compatible with many different brands of LMR to support lower capital costs.

The previous generation MSAT Push-To-Talk and Telephony voice is a satellite only service, but the EXPLORER MSAT-G3 offers a wealth of additional benefits by extending MSAT Push–To-Talk capabilities to hybrid data networks. With no user intervention required, the system automatically routes voice and data traffic via the most reliable network available. The solution is based on Cobham SATCOM’s advanced EXPLORER Push-To-Talk system and the all-new EXPLORER 122, a compact comms-on-the-move satellite terminal developed to operate over the Ligado SkyTerra-1 satellite network.

EXPLORER MSAT-G3 looks and feels just like a standard LMR system, utilizing a simple Push-To-Talk Control Speaker Microphone. The system is also as easy to install as a standard LMR system. Uniquely, up to two USB cellular modems (optional) can be connected to the PTT terminal to enable two independent cellular network connections. In action, EXPLORER MSAT-G3’s sophisticated routing functionality automatically switches between the available networks, dynamically selecting the most suitable one based on quality and availability at any time. This all happens seamlessly without user intervention.

“The combination of the new generation MSAT, using the SkyTerra-1 satellite and ViaSat’s Managed Network Services, and EXPLORER MSAT-G3 will be a step change in communication capabilities for US government and emergency services,” said Henrik Nørrelykke, Vice President, Land Business, Cobham SATCOM. “By automatically and seamlessly routing voice and data communication over the best available network the system extends coverage and provides a more reliable connection. It essentially delivers more value and better performance in order to make people on the ground safer and more effective in their work.”

Luxembourg | November 12, 2012– Intelsat S.A., the world’s leading provider of satellite services, announced today a new multi-year capacity agreement with South African-based Vodacom on the Intelsat satellite fleet. Vodacom will utilize capacity on Intelsat 906 at 64° East and Intelsat 25 at 328.5° East to support its deployment of cellular backhaul service in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Vodacom is currently implementing its 3G network across the DRC. This agreement expands the Intelsat-based cellular backhaul infrastructure supporting wireless services in Tanzania, Mozambique and other parts of Sub-Saharan Africa.

In addition, Vodacom utilizes multiple satellites on the Intelsat fleet for international trunking, corporate networking, in-flight broadband and disaster recovery services across the continent.

“This agreement continues our decade-long support of Vodacom in Africa, and comes at a time of unprecedented demand for reliable communications access,” said Intelsat Managing Director of Africa Sales Jon Osler. “Intelsat’s breadth of services in the region, and our expertise in supporting wireless operators, allows providers such as Vodacom to reach its business goals as it expands its presence across Africa.”

IFExpress first met Dr. Axel Jahn, TriaGnoSys, Managing Director at AIX in Hamburg. His then little company had developed a small, lightweight, inflight connectivity box (aeroBTS) that had the satcom radios, server, GSM/GPR phone radio and WAP, all in one box. Ideal for biz jets, we dubbed the product “The One-Box-Wonder”. The name stuck and so did the product and today, busy Axel wanted to tell our readers all about the future of inflight telephony (3G or 4G?) in our Speakers’ Corner feature. Read on:

by Dr Axel Jahn, Managing Director, TriaGnoSys

As smartphone penetration increases and the applications available become increasingly sophisticated, people are becoming more and more used to using their phones all the time. This is also true in the air. OnAir, which provides both mobile phone networks and Wi-Fi, reports that, when both networks are available, 97% of passengers choose to use their mobile phones. And that is using a 2.5G network.

It is clear passengers’ desire to use their mobile phones during flights is not going to go away. The key question for techies like us is what the next development should be: 3G or 4G? We think 4G is the answer.

At first glance, that looks like the wrong answer because 3G is ubiquitous. It is true there are varying standards for 3G, for example China has a proprietary version. Nevertheless, it is available throughout the developed world. On the other hand, 4G is in its infancy and it will take a while to become the norm. It therefore appears to make sense to develop 3G for inflight connectivity.

But there are other factors. Even though 4G is only just coming onto the market, it isn’t something new. It is also called LTE – Long Term Evolution – which says everything. It has been under development for a long time and the fact that telecoms companies are not sufficiently confident to bring it to market means it is ready. As we saw with 3G, once handset manufacturers start enabling it as standard, adoption rates accelerate fast. There are rumours that the iPhone 5 will have 4G this autumn and we know what iPhone developments do to the market.

4G will be here to stay for a while. The history of the various generations of standards is that each one lasts longer that its predecessor. 2G was quickly overtaken by 2.5G; 3G took a little longer to take hold and remains the dominant standard. Once 4G takes the baton, it is likely to remain around for a while. It will provide such a major step-change in the available bandwidth that it will take years before we start using it all.

There is another aspect to the timing. One thing we have learned is that it takes a long time to develop inflight connectivity technology. The WirelessCabin project, which we managed, took over two years to get the first inflight GSM demonstrator flying in 2004 and it was another three years before the first commercial flight. We actually looked at 3G then, but came to the conclusion that LTE advances would mean inflight 3G would be behind the curve before it became available. In fact, we have already started work on a 4G solution and our (conservative) projections show it will be ready for commercial launch by 2015, by when 4G will be widely used on the ground – though GSM and GPRS will remain available so anyone who doesn’t have a 4G phone won’t miss out. Happily, that coincides with the launch of Inmarsat’s Ka-band service because the extra bandwidth will be required for 4G.

Finally, there are technological reasons for avoiding inflight 3G. The obvious one is that 4G/LTE provides much higher bandwidth and advanced architecture, so can be used to for wireless streaming of IFE content in the aircraft, meaning passengers can use their own devices to access that content. That will be of particular interest for aircraft that do not have embedded IFE systems, both to provide enhanced passenger service and as a potential ancillary revenue generator.

It is the 4G architecture that allows this to happen. It is much more flexible than 3G and in particular that means it can be used to provide local content without going over the satellite, something that can’t be done with 3G. Also, unlike 3G, 4G is truly a global standard with no regional variations, so everyone will be able to use it during flights.

4G is the right choice for the next stage of inflight mobile connectivity. The timing works, it is a more appropriate technology and it will be around for years to come.

Contact Dr. Axel Jahn

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