– Companies to collaborate on Broadband Product integration.

APEX, Long Beach, CA | September 19, 2012– Thales, a leader in In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) today announced an initiative to partner with Honeywell to bring the next generation of global broadband aircraft connectivity to the world aviation industry.

The two aerospace companies are working to integrate the Honeywell developed GX Aviation Ka band satcom avionics and antenna systems, operating over Inmarsat’s GX Aviation Ka-band satellite constellation with Thales cabin network solutions. The combined offering will give commercial airline operators and their passengers four times the in-flight connectivity bandwidth enabling real-time TV channel viewing and social media connectivity as well as virtual office functionality for video conferencing.

By joining forces, Honeywell and Thales are building upon their collective 20-year history as leaders in the airborne satellite communications market to address the new challenges that have been set by the demanding connectivity market; coverage, consistent high bandwidth connection & commercially viable pricing.

“Inmarsat’s GX Aviation Ka-band satellite connectivity system is a game changer and continues our tradition of providing the commercial aerospace market with innovative, proven and reliable products;”, said Jack Jacobs, Vice President, Honeywell. “We expect that this connectivity system will provide airlines with significantly larger bandwidth at a cost-effective price.”

The combination of state of the art satellite communications equipment and a range of highly capable aircraft networks, applications and services will provide the industry with an unparalleled opportunity.

“GX Aviation satellite constellation provides huge volumes of bandwidth and is optimized for mobile platforms which guarantee seamless satellite handover and global systems management, guaranteeing to enhance the passenger experience”, said Stuart Dunleavy, Thales Avionics, VP of Media and Connectivity.

The deployment of a timely, fully aircraft certified and completely reliable end-to-end solution for both passenger communications (cellular, Internet, Intranet, streaming media) and e-Enabled Aircraft solutions (aircraft health monitoring, two-way messaging and progressive monitoring) is critical to meeting the airlines and passengers expectations.

We would like to say that we had a plan for this IFExpress but sometimes, plans have a way of writing themselves. Instead, this week we offer an update on many things. Firstly, we thought you might like to get an update on the Inmarsat Global Xpress Ka-band aviation services that come out of a recent Inmarsat get-together in Florida. Next, there are just too many IFEC meetings to keep track of, so we did it for you. Be sure to check out the links. And finally there a couple of bits and bytes for your cogitation.

Inmarsat – The recent Inmarsat Aviation Conference in Miami brought to light a few facts about the upcoming Global Xpress Ka-band satellite set for launch in 2013 and service debut in last quarter 2014. Further the conference outlined the future L-band services as well. We thought our readers might like to take note of some data presented there. For example, did you know some 35 airlines have committed to Inmarsat services with some 16 operational today generating $14 M in revenue. Interestingly, there are some 13,900 active terminals with business aviation revenue almost 3 times that of airliners. The forthcoming world covering Global Xpress (GX) service is expected to add to Classic Aero I, H, H+, and Swift Broadband with the airborne hardware in development by Honeywell . We expect to get a Speakers’ Corner on this $1.2 B subject in the near future. Stay Tuned on this one!

Meetings, Meetings, Meetings!

APEX 2012 EXPO 17 – 20 September, Long Beach, CA – The IFEC event not to be missed is in Southern California once again this year. Airlines and vendors love this show, and so does IFExpress. Once again, the Long Beach Convention Center is host of the expo and with the Queen Mary nearby, what’s not to like? Here is the agenda and with any luck, we will have more on the show in coming issues.

APEX Educational Event, November 7-8, 2012 Santiago, Chile. That’s right, Chile. With Latin American poised for a growth rate of 3.6% (see Boeing Current Market Outlook) versus a world rate of 2.6%, APEX has chosen an excellent location for this event. With fly fishing in the Coyhaique and wine tasting in the Central Valley, you might not get home till December.

Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas, September 25 – 27, 2012. If you are looking for a Seattle vacation, we strongly recommend the Aircraft Interiors Expo Americas, that will have a Latin focus this year. Here is what the the show folks told us; “Latin America is very much one of the bright spots of the air transport scene, with the region’s economy expected to enjoy strong growth into the 2030s.  Air travel is becoming increasingly important, with growth in passenger levels expected to exceed the global average. As a result, Airbus forecasts that the region will need excess of 2,000 new passenger planes of more than 100 seats over the next 20 years, with the overall fleet doubling from 1067 to 2491. Boeing’s prediction for the regional fleet is 3,390 aircraft by 2030. The company forecasts that the majority of deliveries over the coming 20 years will be new single-aisle aircraft for travel within the region. However the precise numbers finally work out, the prospects for the market in Latin America look excellent, with economic expansion creating a new traveling middle class. Since that middle class is predicted to grow by as much as 75% in the next 20 years…” Check out their website for more info.

Audio Books
Whatever happened to onboard book downloads – reading or audible? We predict that the upcoming onboard Wi-Fi revolution will be a new source of reading revenue. Let’s see who gets there first, Amazon, Apple or Audible?

Remember Digiboo… the folks who are making appearances at airports with movie download hubs (Your USB stick and Windows only, please) will now be offering wireless downloads to your portable device (Android coming soon).