Dubai, UAE | December 5, 2016– Ahead of MEBAA 2016 Satcom Direct has announced that it is now authorized by Inmarsat’s Global Government Business Unit to provision and resell Inmarsat’s Ka-band Global Xpress (GX) service to global government customers for use in military, head-of-state and other government operations.

Satcom Direct (SD) has been appointed a Value Added Reseller (VAR) for Inmarsat’s GX mobile global broadband satellite network. GX delivers secure, end-to-end wideband connectivity that enables seamless airborne, naval and land operations. During MEBAA 2016 SD will be explaining to delegates why this is an ideal tool for those needing maximum connectivity in conjunction with maximum mobility. GX is a perfect fit for military and head-of-state communications needs.

“SD is honored to represent Inmarsat and to showcase GX and its benefits to the government market,” said David Greenhill, Satcom Direct president. “The high performance of the GX network allows us to deliver tailored solutions which meet complex government, military and VVIP requirements for secure and reliable connectivity.”

Inmarsat Global Government President, Andy Start, said: “We are very excited to add Satcom Direct to our stable of industry-leading companies that provide expertise and service to our government customers with Global Xpress capabilities. Satcom Direct has a long and successful history in the aviation sector and we are keen to work with them in the non-U.S. government sector.”

GX is the world’s first globally available Ka-band mobile broadband satellite network, providing very high bandwidth services to end-users on land, at sea and in the air, delivered through a resilient, secure waveform that is optimised for mobility. It integrates seamlessly with Inmarsat’s current L-band network

SD already is a VAR for the U.S. Government business unit, as well as Jet ConneX, the business aviation version of Inmarsat’s Global Xpress service. SD was the first business aviation communication provider to provision and validate its services over the network.

France | November 26, 2016– Airbus is evaluating a new standard high-bandwidth architecture that will provide faster and more wide-reaching connectivity services on-board its modern, market-leading jetliners.

Using the in-house A330 testbed aircraft this autumn, Airbus became the first in the industry to flight demonstrate such a high-bandwidth connectivity platform – which will enable faster internet, mobile telephone services and support applications for passengers and airlines via high-throughput satellites.

Applying high-bandwidth connectivity is an important part of the company’s focus on providing a superior on-board experience – and soon will allow airline customers to choose from the range of new high-throughput satellite technologies such as Ka-band and Ku-band for continuous worldwide connectivity.

Constant innovation to improve the passenger experience

“Our goal is to extend our connectivity portfolio in new production aircraft and as retrofit,” explained Bruno Galzin, Head of Airbus’ Connectivity Programme and Upgrade Services. “Our initial testing in high-bandwidth connectivity is a new step to improve the passenger and crew experience. We already are working on new solutions in line with the latest, fast-evolving technologies so anyone can be connected on-board just like at home.”

In-flight connectivity is becoming increasingly important for passengers, who now expect to always be connected – using their own electronic devices to access the internet, exchange with those on the ground and enjoy social media.

Airlines also are demanding the need for connectivity solutions to enhance their operational communications, such as with digital cabin logbooks, telemedicine or for credit card authentication, as well as to generate ancillary cabin revenues.

Cabin connectivity for the future

With the start of testing successfully underway this autumn, Airbus is expected to be the first aircraft manufacturer to offer this standard architecture on its commercial airliners – with service entry for this solution planned for the third quarter of 2017.

Airbus’ high-bandwidth connectivity architecture will be available from multiple suppliers for applications on its A320, A330 and A380 jetliners, which supplements the A350 XWB – a “digital native” that entered service with high-bandwidth connectivity capability.

“The number of connected commercial aircraft is expected to grow from 5,000 to a volume of 16,600 over the 2015-2025 period, accounting for 62 percent of the global commercial fleet,” explained Galzin. “The innovative solutions we are currently developing will help passengers and airlines benefit from a new generation of high-throughput satellite technologies in the Ka-band and Ku-band frequencies.”

  • New agreement is part of Inmarsat’s cooperation with Lufthansa Group

United Kingdom | November 11, 2016– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, will provide its advanced new GX for Aviation in-flight broadband solution to Austrian Airlines’ continental aircraft fleet under a landmark new contract announced today.

More than 30 Airbus A320 family aircraft from Austrian Airlines’ fleet will be equipped with GX for Aviation, the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. The advanced new service will allow the airline’s passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more, with service levels on par with broadband connectivity available on the ground.

The first installation and testing onboard Austrian Airlines aircraft is currently underway.

The Austrian Airlines contract is part of a 10-year strategic agreement announced last year between Inmarsat and the Lufthansa Group, which included the selection of GX for Aviation for Lufthansa’s European continental fleet of over 150 aircraft. The service recently went live under a ‘soft launch’ phase on selected aircraft with Lufthansa and commercial passenger services are expected to start with the airline soon.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “We are delighted to welcome Austrian Airlines as our latest GX for Aviation customer. This announcement is particularly special for us, as it comes soon after we unveiled that the service is now live after five years of development.

“For too long, airline passengers have struggled with either substandard or non-existent connectivity onboard their flights. GX for Aviation marks an important turning point. Broadband services are now available in the sky, so you can browse the internet, stream videos, download files, check and update your social media, just as you have been doing on the ground. Our airline customers understand that service differentiators such as high-speed broadband on flights are key to meeting the expectations of today’s passengers and therefore strengthening their position in a highly competitive market.”

  • Why the industry should embrace open systems development and unlock digital service innovation for airlines

October 2016– The first inflight connectivity revolution is already well advanced. Airlines are investing heavily in the latest satellite broadband and connectivity technologies in order to meet growing passenger expectations for fast, reliable and consistent Wi-Fi digital services on any aircraft, anywhere in the world.

But how will this develop? SITAONAIR, the world-leader in developing inflight connectivity solutions, has unique experience and perspective.

Going forward, we believe services should be provided consistently on every frequency band with an open architecture – ushering in the second inflight connectivity revolution.

Read More Here

  • Advanced global in-flight connectivity solution goes live onboard selected flights, allowing passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more

Singapore | October 25, 2016– Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, today announced that its next generation in-flight broadband service, GX for Aviation, has gone live under a ‘soft launch’ phase with Lufthansa.

The landmark achievement was unveiled during an evening reception organised by Inmarsat for airlines, partners and the media at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore, where the Airline Passenger Experience Association (APEX) is currently hosting its prestigious annual exhibition.

GX for Aviation is the world’s first in-flight connectivity solution with reliable, seamless high-speed global coverage provided through a single operator. It allows airline passengers to browse the internet, stream videos, check social media and more during flights, with an onboard connectivity experience on par with broadband services available on the ground.

Lufthansa will commence commercial passenger services with GX for Aviation next month. Other customers of the game-changing solution include Singapore Airlines and Air Astana.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “After several years of detailed planning and development, this is the moment that Inmarsat, and indeed the global aviation industry, has been waiting for. GX for Aviation is now live and offering unparalleled in-flight broadband to passengers. We have moved from systems integration and testing to rolling out the most robust and comprehensive global connectivity solution for airlines across the world.

“GX for Aviation is not a patchwork solution. Our customers are not subject to the intermittent services and handover issues experienced by other providers. Billions of dollars and years of engineering have been invested to ensure that GX for Aviation delivers a solution that is not just robust, but transformative. Passengers using GX for Aviation will have on-the-ground levels of connectivity and uninterrupted access to the applications they use day-to-day, including email, web browsing, social media, video and music streaming, and online shopping, among others.”

Inmarsat was awarded a contract in October 2015 to provide in-flight connectivity services for passengers onboard Lufthansa’s European continental fleet of more than 150 aircraft. The contract formalised the start of a 10-year strategic partnership between Lufthansa Group and Inmarsat, and provided a framework to extend the service to other airline brands in the Group.

The go-live of GX for Aviation follows a successful cooperation with Lufthansa Technik and Lufthansa Systems, which together with Inmarsat have started the process of installing the broadband solution’s hardware and software on selected aircraft in the Lufthansa fleet.

Airlines will connect to the GX network using advanced new JetWave terminals produced by Inmarsat partner Honeywell Aerospace, with over 300 aircraft already committed to the system and more to come. The exclusive terminals are designed for ease of installation and maintenance to assure the lowest downtime for any cabin connectivity solution in the market, allowing installation with minimal labour and using standard tools available in maintenance hangars.

  • Expands MultiChoice’s Leading Direct-to-Home Services in Sub-Saharan Africa

Luxembourg | August 24, 2016– Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), operator of the world’s first Globalized Network, powered by its leading satellite backbone, today announced the successful launch of the Intelsat 36 satellite. Intelsat 36 was launched from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle. Liftoff occurred at 6:16 p.m. EDT. The satellite separated from the rocket’s lower stage at 6:57 p.m. EDT, and the Intelsat launch team has confirmed signal acquisition.

Built for Intelsat by Space Systems/Loral (SSL), Intelsat 36 is designed to enhance Intelsat’s media neighborhoods serving Africa and the Indian Ocean regions. The Ku-band payload was built to support MultiChoice, the leading direct-to-home platform in South Africa. The C-band payload provides in-orbit resilience for Intelsat’s leading video content distribution neighborhood at 68.5° E. Intelsat 36 will be collocated with Intelsat 20.

“Intelsat 36 is a testament to our dedication to working closely with our customers in Africa to support critical growing infrastructure needs in the region,” said Stephen Spengler, Chief Executive Officer, Intelsat.

“Having consistent and affordable access to informative and entertaining content is vital to a community and its citizens. Intelsat 36 will enable MultiChoice to extend high definition channels throughout the region via one of Africa’s premier video neighborhoods. We are proud to once again partner with MultiChoice as they continue to deliver high quality and compelling educational and entertainment services to their customers throughout sub-Saharan Africa.”

Intelsat 36 is the 58th Intelsat satellite launched by Arianespace.

  • Intelsat EpicNG’s fast and efficient broadband connectivity now available across 5 continents, serving enterprise, wireless telecommunications, mobility, government and Internet of Things applications
  • Expands Intelsat EpicNG coverage for aeronautical and maritime mobility, from the Caribbean and North Atlantic across Europe, Asia and Africa

Luxembourg | August 24, 2016– Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), operator of the world’s first Globalized Network, powered by its leading satellite backbone, today announced that Intelsat 33e, the second of seven planned Intelsat EpicNG high throughput satellites, was launched successfully from French Guiana aboard an Ariane 5 launch vehicle. Liftoff occurred at 6:16 p.m. EDT. The Intelsat 33e satellite separated from the rocket’s upper stage at 6:44 p.m. EDT, and signal acquisition has been confirmed.

Intelsat 33e, manufactured by Boeing, will bring high throughput capacity in both C- and Ku-band to the Africa, Europe, Middle East and Asia regions from 60°E. The satellite will join Intelsat 29e, the first Intelsat EpicNG satellite, which was launched in January 2016 over the Americas and North Atlantic Ocean region, to form a high throughput overlay to Intelsat’s fleet of enterprise-grade, wide beam satellites.

Intelsat 33e is equipped with the sector’s most advanced digital payload on a commercial spacecraft and combines wide beams and spot beams with frequency reuse technology. The digital payload provides customers with unprecedented security and flexibility, enabling seamless access and the ability to shift capacity to match their usage needs in a particular region or timeframe. Intelsat EpicNG is optimized to provide satellite connectivity for applications including the Internet of Things, enterprise, wireless infrastructure, aeronautical and maritime mobility and government, which are expected to provide a combined $3.3 billion incremental industry-wide revenue opportunity between 2015-2021.

“Intelsat 33e marks another significant milestone as we continue our ‘epic’ journey toward meeting our customers’ needs for higher performance, improved economics and simplified access to satellite solutions,” stated Stephen Spengler, Chief Executive Officer, Intelsat. “Our first high throughput satellite, Intelsat 29e, is already in service and exceeding our customers’ expectations in the Americas. With Intelsat 33e, customers operating in EMEA and the Asia Pacific regions will now be able to leverage Intelsat EpicNG’s differentiated capabilities and greater efficiencies to grow their businesses and deliver enhanced value to their customers.”

Mr. Spengler continued, “Intelsat 33e and the Intelsat EpicNG architecture are fully backwards compatible and interoperable with Intelsat’s existing satellite fleet and terrestrial infrastructure. This allows customers to cost efficiently use currently deployed network hardware so that they can have immediate access to high performance connectivity. Intelsat 33e also brings us one step closer to providing the first global, fully interoperable wide beam and high throughput Ku-band broadband service. We remain on schedule to launch the remaining five Intelsat EpicNG satellites. The 2018 launch of our Horizons 3e satellite will complete our global coverage, adding the Pacific Ocean region.”

The Intelsat 33e payload will deliver carrier-grade services to fixed and mobile network operators, and broadband for applications such as enterprise, aeronautical and maritime mobility, and government. Companies such as EMC, Gogo, Harris CapRock, KVH, Marlink, Panasonic Avionics, Romantis, Supernet, and Television and Radio Broadcasting Network of Armenia (TRBNA), will be among the first to deploy services on the platform.

Intelsat 33e is the 57th Intelsat satellite launched by Arianespace. It will replace Intelsat 904, which will be redeployed.

Connected Aircraft data visualization, monitoring and alerting for decision support and aircraft tracking

  • Integrates real-time Connected Aircraft information via high-speed satellite streaming
  • Merges aircraft-generated position data with flight status, ground surveillance and weather
  • Configurable alerting to enhance situational awareness and track fleet-wide disruptions
  • Meets ICAO GADSS requirements through global multi-source flight tracking capabilities
    Improves efficiencies, reduces costs, and enables airlines’ digital transformation

Los Angeles, CA | July 29, 2016– Global Eagle Entertainment, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENT) (“GEE”), a worldwide provider of end-to-end connectivity and media to the airline, maritime and remote mobility markets, today announced the launch of Airview Opsconnect™, a cloud-based application that tracks and visualizes operations, identifies and alerts operational disruptions, and improves on-time performance through integrated web-based tools.

Built on GEE’s masFlight analytics and business intelligence platform, Airview Opsconnect fuses Connected Aircraft data streamed over satellite with ground-based surveillance, flight status and weather information to identify and manage high-value operational problems. The application displays aircraft position and tracks, identifies taxi-out delays (even at airports without terrestrial surface-surveillance) and alerts users to operational exceptions, disruptions and cancellations. Airline managers will be equipped with a do-it-yourself application that simplifies analytics, information querying, including competitive benchmarking, and automates performance reporting by airport, fleet and network worldwide. Together with masFlight, Airview Opsconnect enables ICAO GADSS compliance for aircraft tracking and reduces airline exposure to regulatory penalties while improving the safety of operations.

“Airview Opsconnect provides airline executives and front-line crewmembers industry-leading insights into real-time operational performance, showcasing GEE’s integrated Connected Aircraft capabilities and leadership,” said Bernard Asare, VP Connected Aircraft Systems. “The app unifies real-time, in-flight data with weather, flight information, and ground-based surveillance with a user-friendly interface to support mission-critical airline decisions and addresses regulatory flight tracking requirements.”

Airview Opsconnect is offered with GEE’s Airconnect Global in-flight connectivity system and can ingest data from both third-party and internal airline data platforms. For more information or to schedule a demonstration of the platform, contact opsconnect@geemedia.com.

  • Forms Leading Provider of Satellite-Based Connectivity and Media to Global Mobility Markets
  • Leverages Complementary Products, Technologies and Service Offerings Across Air, Sea and Land Verticals to Drive Growth
  • Annual Synergies Expected to Exceed $40 Million

Los Angeles, CA | July 27, 2016– Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. (NASDAQ: ENT) (“GEE”) today announced that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Emerging Markets Communications (“EMC”), a leading communications services provider to maritime and hard-to- reach land markets.

Combination Overview
The combination of GEE and EMC creates one of the world’s largest providers of satellite-based connectivity and media to the rapidly growing global mobility market. GEE has established a strong track record of successfully delivering media content and connectivity to airlines, while EMC has become a top provider of connectivity to maritime and hard-to-reach land markets. When combined with EMC, GEE benefits from significant economies of scale and an enhanced global infrastructure that enables it to deliver a comprehensive portfolio of products to customers.

With the combination, GEE possesses unique attributes that will provide additional opportunities to drive revenue growth and operational efficiencies, including:

  • An unparalleled portfolio of products and services tailored to mobility markets, including global connectivity, media content in 47 languages, live television, travel and entertainment apps, user interface platforms and data capture and operations analytics tools;
  • A global sales force and support organization that reaches all major mobility verticals including aviation, maritime, energy and remote locations;
  • A satellite and ground-based network infrastructure that can provide customers connectivity and media across multiple frequency bands anywhere in the world;
  • Proprietary, patented technologies that enhance the connected traveler’s user experience and reduce costs across market verticals;
  • A diversified revenue base with over 400 customers, balanced between media and connectivity, and over half of all revenue coming from international markets; and
  • Engineering, technical and managerial resources to effectively drive new product development, program management, product maintenance, and field support.

“This is a transformational acquisition for our company and in our industry,” said GEE Chief Executive Officer Dave Davis. “The combination of GEE and EMC enables us to provide our customers with a breadth of products and services unmatched in the markets we serve, whether in the air, at sea, or on land. GEE will continue to strive to be customer focused, product driven, and operationally excellent.”

Synergy Opportunities
GEE has a successful track record of integrating acquisitions and achieving synergies. With EMC, the Company expects to realize synergies of $15 million in 2017, growing to $40 million in 2018 and thereafter. A major source of savings is expected to come from network efficiencies, including the ability to optimize bandwidth costs through a consolidation of existing network assets, including space segment and ground infrastructure, as well as better capacity utilization. Savings are also expected through reductions in SG&A spending and the consolidation of facilities.

In addition to cost savings, GEE expects the combination to generate significant revenue synergies. Driving sales of GEE’s media, software, advertising and operations solutions products in the underserved maritime market are a key objective of the Company. GEE’s digital media team has had a long-term relationship with EMC and expects to launch new products to major cruise lines before year-end. EMC’s proprietary technologies are in use today to improve the connectivity experience and optimize bandwidth usage in the maritime market. GEE will soon introduce these technologies into the aviation market.

Corporate Structure
Dave Davis will continue to lead GEE as CEO. Abel Avellan, founder and CEO of EMC, will serve as President and Chief Strategy Officer of GEE. As part of the transaction, ABRY Partners, EMC’s largest shareholder, has a right to nominate a director to GEE’s board.

In conjunction with the transaction close, GEE has established three operational business units.

  • The Media Business Unit delivers films and television shows, live TV, music, games and other content to aviation and maritime customers, including approximately 6,500 aircraft and many cruise ships currently served by GEE. Other products include digital and streaming media offerings such as the Airtime Content-to-Go application and the Entice streaming media system. Wale Adepoju will lead the Media Business Unit as Executive Vice President of Media. Previously, Wale served as Chief Commercial Officer of GEE.
  • The Aviation Business Unit serves commercial airlines and private aviation using GEE’s proprietary Airconnect GlobalTM connectivity platform, which is currently installed on nearly 750 aircraft worldwide. The Business Unit also provides Navaero electronic flight bag (EFB) data interfaces and powered mounting systems, which are in place on nearly 4,000 aircraft today, as well as Masflight operational data analytics services. Joshua Marks, who previously led GEE’s Operations Solutions team, will lead the Aviation Business Unit as Executive Vice President of Aviation.
  • The Maritime and Land Business Unit delivers connectivity and mission critical services to cruise and ferry lines, yachts, commercial shippers and land-based users such as non- governmental organizations and mobile network operators. Through this transaction, GEE has acquired a strong maritime customer base, serving over 1,500 vessels and 100,000 cruise ship cabins. In addition to overseeing certain corporate functions at GEE, Abel Avellan will lead the Maritime and Land Business Unit.

 

  • First Multi Spot Beam, Ku-Band High Throughput Satellite to Serve Europe, Middle East, Africa and Asia Pacific

Luxembourg and Paris | July 22, 2016– Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), operator of the world’s first Globalized Network, powered by its leading satellite backbone, announced today that Intelsat 33e, the second of the Intelsat EpicNG series of high throughput satellites (“HTS”), arrived at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, where it will undergo final preparations before its scheduled launch on an Ariane 5 rocket on the 24th of August, 2016.

Manufactured by Boeing and equipped with the most advanced digital payload on a commercial spacecraft, Intelsat 33e will extend Intelsat’s high throughput capacity in both C- and Ku-band from the Americas to include Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, the Mediterranean and Indian Ocean regions.

Intelsat EpicNG features an exceptionally flexible HTS payload design that is backward compatible with already deployed user networks globally. The higher performance, better economics and simplified access of the Intelsat EpicNG design are built to address an expected $3.2 billion incremental revenue opportunity related to new demand for satellite-based infrastructure in the enterprise, wireless infrastructure, aeronautical and maritime mobility, government and Internet of Things sectors by the year 2021.

The amount of global data traffic is expected to surge at a compound annual growth rate of 53 percent from 2015 through year-end 2020. With increasing broadband requirements and a growing number of smartphone users, the flexible and open architecture of Intelsat 29e, Intelsat 33e and future Intelsat EpicNG satellites will enable fixed and mobile network operators to cost-effectively extend their networks and meet the surges in broadband demand across the continents.

Select customers have already committed to take advantage of Intelsat 33e, some of which include Pakistani Internet service provider SuperNet Limited, African telecommunications providers such as Telkom South Africa, Orange, IP Planet, Vodacom, Dijoubti Telecom, Safarifone and Africell RDC SPRL.; Russian network service providers Romantis and RuSat LLC; and media customers including TV & Radio Broadcasting (formerly Television and Radio Broadcasting of Armenia), and MultiChoice of South Africa.

Intelsat 33e will also deliver enterprise-grade, broadband services to aeronautical and maritime mobility service providers and users. The satellite combines wide and high performing spot beams facilitating combined live television and broadband applications within the same network. As previously announced, prestigious maritime mobility customers such as EMC, Harris CapRock and Marlink, and aero mobility customers such as Gogo and Panasonic Avionics have committed to the Intelsat EpicNG fleet for mobility and fixed and mobile enterprise applications.

Intelsat 33e is currently scheduled for launch on 24 August 2016 during a window that is currently scheduled to open at 5:55 pm EDT and closes at 6:40 pm EDT. Following a successful launch, Intelsat 33e will be placed at the 60°E orbital location, where it will undergo in-orbit testing prior to its expected in-service date at the end of 2016.

  • Europe moves a step closer to offering air travellers the most powerful broadband experience in the sky after first-of-its-kind connectivity network achieves key milestone

United Kingdom | July 21, 2016– Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, announced today that construction and associated sub-system tests of the satellite for its market-changing European Aviation Network (EAN) in-flight connectivity solution has been completed on schedule by Thales Alenia Space.

The key milestone was achieved on schedule following an extensive two-year build process in Toulouse and Cannes, France. The completed S-band payload module was shipped in early July to Thales Alenia Space’s testing center in Cannes, where satellite integration (‘mating’) was also successfully completed. The satellite is now undergoing rigorous system end-to-end testing before it is declared ready for flight in 2017.

EAN is the world’s first integrated satellite and air-to-ground network dedicated to providing a true in-flight broadband experience for Europe’s aviation industry and for millions of passengers who have been cut-off from fast, reliable and consistent broadband access during their flights.

The satellite has been custom-designed to provide mobile satellite services (MSS) to aircraft flying over the dense European routes, exploiting Inmarsat’s 30MHz (2 x 15MHz) S-band spectrum allocation in all 28 EU member states, plus Norway and Switzerland.

It will be integrated with a LTE-based ground network covering approximately 300 sites, operated by Inmarsat’s partner Deutsche Telekom. Aircraft will switch automatically between satellite and terrestrial connectivity using an on–board network communicator for optimal service delivery.

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “The European Aviation Network has been specifically engineered to meet the connectivity needs of the aviation industry and is a cornerstone in our expanding worldwide mobile cellular network. It will offer unprecedented high-speed capacity at 75Mb/s with near zero latency while flying over Europe, so passengers can enjoy an easy-to-use true broadband experience for internet streaming, gaming and other online services direct to their personal smart devices. In addition, with no moving parts on the aircraft, the solution is not only lightweight, but also easy to install, very robust and low maintenance.

“The on-time construction of our multi-beam satellite, as well as Deutsche Telekom’s ground network of approximately 300 new LTE sites across Europe, highlights the rapid progress we are making with the European Aviation Network. The coming together of Inmarsat and market-leaders across Europe, including Thales, Deutsche Telekom, Nokia, Cobham SATCOM and OTE, on this ground-breaking development will strengthen Europe’s position as a global technology innovator and support the continued growth of its aviation industry.”

Over the coming months, Inmarsat’s new S-band satellite will be put in a thermal vacuum chamber with no pressure to simulate the space environment and cycled through extreme high and low temperatures to ensure it operates nominally. Mechanical and acoustic testing will then replicate the launch environment, followed by final phase testing to compare any shifts or variations in measurements against the initial base line. Once these tests are complete, the satellite will be prepared for launch by SpaceX at Cape Canaveral in Florida, scheduled to take place in 2017.

Michele Franci, Chief Technology Officer at Inmarsat said: “We are really proud to have achieved this major milestone on schedule and look forward to the extensive testing, which will ensure the satellite is free from defects and will be able to survive the harsh launch and space environments that it will face. This will include an end-to-end verification of all components to ensure that every component is operating within its defined parameters.”

  • Inmarsat only international operator authorised to provide mobile satellite voice services in the country

United Kingdom | July 14, 2016– Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has received type approval from the Government of the People’s Republic of China for its IsatPhone 2 technology, making it the only international operator legally eligible to sell handheld satellite phones in the country.

Working alongside local channel partners MCN Beijing (MCN) and China Telecom Satellite (CTS), Inmarsat is uniquely positioned to service the Chinese market and looks forward to meeting the strong demand generated across multiple sectors in China.

A key criteria for the Government approval was to have local infrastructure in the country. MCN, in partnership with Inmarsat, successfully completed its Global Satellite Phone Service (GSPS) gateway station in China at the end of 2014, receiving its official licence earlier this year.

Tim Johnson, Vice President of Inmarsat’s Enterprise Unit said: “This is a very significant announcement for Inmarsat and something we have worked hard on with our partners and the Chinese Government.

“Given the size and scale of the country, there is huge demand for reliable mobile voice communications in China. Provision of this type of communication technology which can be deployed quickly – and at relatively low cost – can provide significant benefits in terms of broader economic and societal development. As the need for reliable and remote communications in China continues to grow, driven by strategic initiatives such as ‘One Belt, One Road’, Inmarsat will be well positioned to capture that growth.

“There are several sectors such as mining and oil & gas, which regularly operate in remote areas of China and where currently traditional connectivity cannot provide the required level of reliable service cost-effectively. This announcement paves the way to meeting that demand.”

Lake Forest, CA | July 12, 2016– Panasonic Avionics (Panasonic) and its partner China Telecom Satellite (CTS), today announced a one-year extension of their Ku-band inflight connectivity trial. With this milestone, all approved Chinese and international airlines can now select Panasonic’s Global Communications Services and enjoy connectivity services worldwide.

Per terms of the license, over 20 foreign airlines with more than 1,000 aircraft are expected to begin operating connected flights over Chinese airspace, with more in process. In addition, Panasonic’s Chinese airline customers, including China Eastern Airlines, Xiamen Air, Hainan Airlines and China Southern Airlines have begun preparations to offer connectivity services across their global route structure.

David Bruner, Vice President, Global Communications Services, Panasonic Avionics, said: “We have worked closely with China Telecom Satellite for the past several years to support connected flights over China with our global broadband service.

“Today’s announcement is the next step in this special partnership, and we look forward to working with China Telecom Satellite over the months ahead to roll this service out across our approved international customer base.”

The announcement follows recent news that the leading Chinese carrier, China Eastern Airlines, in partnership with CTS, was the first to offer Wi-Fi on domestic flights. China Eastern Airlines installed Panasonic’s award-winning eXConnect inflight connectivity system on its newest Boeing 777-300ER aircraft.

The service was initially offered by 12 foreign airlines with just over 200 aircraft offering inflight connectivity over this key region. There were also three Chinese-registered airlines and 30 aircraft offering connected flights in and out of China.

  • Provides enhanced media capacity for Latin America

Luxembourg | June 9, 2016– Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), operator of the world’s first Globalized Network, powered by its leading satellite backbone, announced the successful launch of the Intelsat 31 satellite, which is hosting the DLA-2 payload for DIRECTV Latin America. Intelsat 31 was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome, Kazakhstan aboard an ILS Proton launch vehicle. Liftoff occurred at 7:10 GMT. The Intelsat 31 satellite separated from the rocket’s upper stage at 22:41 GMT, and signal acquisition has been confirmed.

Built for Intelsat by Space Systems/Loral (SSL), Intelsat 31 is a 20-kilowatt class Ku- and C-band satellite. The Ku-band payload, known as DLA-2, is designed to provide redundancy and reliability for DIRECTV Latin America’s distribution services in South America and the Caribbean, reflecting the company’s commitment to providing their subscribers with the highest reliability in the region.

The C-band portion enhances Intelsat’s existing C-band service infrastructure serving Latin America. The satellite will be co-located with the previously launched Intelsat 30, which hosts the DLA-1 payload, at 95° West and is expected to have a service life of more than 15 years.

“Intelsat 31 will deliver additional resilience to the DIRECTV service platform, further enhancing their leadership in the region. DIRECTV Latin America is committed to providing its customers with the highest quality programming at all times,” said Intelsat CEO Stephen Spengler. “Intelsat 31 will also provide valuable C-band services for our customers and further fortifies our video neighborhoods serving Latin America.”

  • New Agreement Enables American to Increase Passenger Engagement and Optimize Customers’ Onboard Wi-Fi Experiences with a Proven, Scalable Internet Platform
  • ViaSat Already Recognized as the Fastest, Best Performing In-flight Internet System, Delivering Highest Quality Streaming Video and Media Experiences to Every Connected Passenger Device on the Plane

Carlsbad, CA |June 3, 2016– American Airlines (NASDAQ: AAL) has selected ViaSat Inc. (NASDAQ: VSAT), a global broadband services and technology company, to outfit its new Boeing 737 MAX fleet with ViaSat’s in-flight internet service. The ViaSat in-flight internet service has been recognized with multiple industry awards for delivering the best performing, highest-quality and fastest in-flight internet experience. The service encourages higher passenger engagement per plane by offering an ‘at home’ internet experience when in-flight – with the ability to stream movies, videos, television and music, as well as surf the web, upload pictures to social media, email large files and more.

The new American planes will tap into the power of ViaSat’s advanced high capacity Ka-band satellite system, which will include ViaSat-1, ViaSat-2 and ViaSat-3 satellite platforms, and has more capacity in orbit than any other in-flight Wi-Fi provider. American will leverage ViaSat’s first two generation satellite platforms, which together provide more capacity than all of the commercial satellites over North America combined. When the first ViaSat-3 class satellite platform launches in 2019, it will more than double the capacity again. With its capacity-rich satellite platforms, ViaSat is able to deliver the fastest, highest quality in-flight internet service to each connected device on a plane.

“Our satellite bandwidth enables an ’at home’ internet experience that can serve everyone on the plane – and empowers innovative business models for airlines and their passengers,” said Mark Dankberg, ViaSat chairman and CEO. “We are delighted and honored to have the opportunity to work with American Airlines and help fulfill their goal of delivering the best in-flight Wi-Fi experience throughout their fleet. We believe we are now approaching the end of an era where passengers have paid very high prices for very slow connections. Our agreement highlights a significant initial step for American to deliver an onboard Wi-Fi experience every passenger will want to use.”

As an internet service provider, ViaSat already serves nearly 700,000 residential and business users with high-speed, high-quality satellite internet. The ViaSat network is also the key to supporting thousands of simultaneously connected aircraft, each with dozens to hundreds of connected devices.

Chicago, IL | May 4, 2016– Gogo (NASDAQ: GOGO), the global leader in providing broadband connectivity solutions and wireless entertainment to the aviation industry, announced today that Delta Air Lines has increased its commitment to Gogo’s industry leading in-flight connectivity technology – 2Ku. This increases Delta’s total number of 2Ku committed aircraft to more than 600.

“Delta customers have expressed an interest in their time in the air being as productive as their time on the ground, and 2Ku satellite offers a vastly upgraded in-flight Wi-Fi experience,” said Tim Mapes, Delta’s Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer. “By committing to more aircraft with 2Ku technology, we’re providing Delta customers with faster and more reliable in-flight connectivity as a part of Delta’s commitment to always delivering the industry’s best on-board services.”

“With 2Ku, Delta will be able to deliver a better inflight experience to its passengers wherever they fly around the world,” said Jon Cobin, Gogo’s Executive Vice President, Global Airline Business Group. “We know how important it is to Delta to bring this technology to passengers and we plan on getting it deployed on these aircraft as soon as possible.”

Gogo’s 2Ku technology is designed to be open so it’s compatible with multiple satellite networks, which means the technology will be upgradeable over time without having to touch the aircraft. This flexibility will help ensure Delta is future ready and ahead of the curve from a technology perspective.

2Ku installations have already started on the 737-800 and A319 fleets, and additional Delta fleets will be retrofitted with the new system. Delta will operate more than 35 aircraft with 2Ku by the end of 2016.

Los Angeles & Luxembourg | April 19 2016– SES S.A. (NYSE Paris:SESG) (LuxX:SESG) and Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE) (Nasdaq: ENT) today announced further significant Ku-band capacity agreements to help usher in the next generation connected airline passenger experience across established and developing markets around the world.

These latest agreements between GEE and SES secure multiple transponders of wide beam Ku-band coverage aboard SES’s NSS-12 and AMC-1 satellites to meet the fast-growing passenger and airline demand for more connectivity across India, Central Asia, the Middle East and North America. GEE is now tapping 12 SES satellites to put together a complementary mix of Ku-band wide beam and upcoming Ku-band high throughput satellite (HTS) spot beam coverage to meet various levels of inflight connectivity demand along travel routes around the globe.

“GEE is in the midst of a strategic expansion of our global inflight connectivity network to meet the growing and evolving demands of airlines and their passengers for a new wave of high-speed Wi-Fi-based services,” said Dave Davis, CEO at GEE. “Together with SES, GEE continues to proactively add significant levels of bandwidth over established inflight connectivity markets, as well as developing regions such as Asia and the Middle East where passenger demand is accelerating the deployment of connected aircraft over new routes.”

“SES has built a robust and scalable global infrastructure to meet the growing demand for inflight entertainment and connectivity,” said Elias Zaccack, Senior Vice President, Commercial, Americas, and head of Global Mobility solutions at SES. “SES is committed to delivering a great mobile experience to airline passengers, and these latest capacity agreements with GEE will bring a new level of inflight connectivity to both expanding and emerging markets.”

  • 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.”

  • Simple ‘click of a mouse’ will deliver instant access to Intelsat’s Globalized Network
  • Seamless integration with terrestrial networks provides ultra-high availability, redundancy and security
  • IntelsatOne Flex for Enterprise delivers economies of scale and operational efficiencies and eliminates unnecessary overhead costs

Luxembourg | March 7, 2016– With nearly 4 billion people, 20 billion devices and 50 billion machines requiring broadband connectivity, corporate enterprises are looking for fast, easy and cost-efficient means to expand their MPLS or Ethernet networks in order to stay ahead of their customers’ emerging demands.

Today, Intelsat (NYSE: I), operator of the world’s first Globalized Network, powered by its leading satellite backbone, introduced IntelsatOne Flex for Enterprise, a managed service that allows regional and global enterprise network service providers to efficiently access and incorporate high throughput satellite technology into new and existing private networks. The result is a high performance, secure and flexible data network platform that supports regional and global application growth, all using a web-based network operations interface.

IntelsatOne Flex for Enterprise will deliver:

  • Instant Access to Intelsat EpicNG’s high speed broadband connectivity where the virtualized network will enable customers to flexibly allocate and move bandwidth to meet surges in demand or new geographic requirements.
  • Seamless Integration with terrestrial MPLS or Ethernet Networks as IntelsatOne Flex for Enterprise allows customers to maintain Class of Service tags across both satellite and terrestrial components.
  • Control and Visibility to the End Terminal through a robust Network Management System (NMS) that allows service providers to: customize, prioritize and contend Mbps; offer differentiated levels of service to their end users; and maintain full control of the offering and brand. The customer portal will also provide real-time monitoring, tracking and reporting.
  • Streamlined Ground Operations through IntelsatOne Flex’s uniform performance, which enables customers to mass-order terminals in advance and take advantage of volume pricing, further simplifying and accelerating the procurement, deployment and installation of new revenue-driving remotes.
  • Significant Cost Savings through the use of smaller terminals, which are much more cost effective to purchase and maintain, even in the most remote locations.
  • Ultra-High Availability, Multi-Layer Redundancy and Security through Intelsat’s Globalized Network.

“IntelsatOne Flex for Enterprise will provide our customers with the unprecedented scalability and flexibility needed to manage the complex challenges driven by the explosive demands for broadband connectivity,” said Karen Schmidt, Vice President, Marketing, Intelsat. “Unlike with other platforms, the backward compatibility of Intelsat’s Globalized Network does not require customers to replace their existing technology or switch out their ground infrastructure. As a result, customers can redeploy the cost savings and instead, focus on expanding their businesses and driving new revenue streams. Most importantly, IntelsatOne Flex for Enterprise can be easily integrated into an existing architecture and serve as a single point of entry to a virtual Globalized Network that can deliver on its promise of providing high-speed broadband and internet connectivity, whenever or wherever you need it, today.”

One company that seems to be a bit quieter about their connectivity solutions is Honeywell but that’s about to change. Last week, they sent out a release about their recent certification from the FAA for their inflight product, JetWave and their STC on a Boeing B757. Significant is their exclusive connectivity hardware for Inmarsat Global Express, high speed, Ka-Band inflight connectivity service.

At higher frequencies like Ka Band (26.5 – 40 GHz), operators can generally obtain more user bandwidth but a lot depends on antenna size & efficiency, users in the space, horizon height, weather, and more. But we digress.

Part of the attraction of JetWave is bandwidth as we just mentioned, but global coverage is another feature and we asked about that feature as well. Finally, we do believe, that the price per downloaded bit will be cheaper than those of lower transmit/receive frequencies… but that remains to be announced by Honeywell or airlines. Stay tuned on this one. If JetBlue’s solution with Thales & ViaSat is any indication, it ought to get interesting and potentially cheaper per bit.

Next, we had a few more questions and Honeywell provided answers for some as follows:

1. IFExpress: How long has this product been in development (antenna) and what new antenna technologies are included?

ANS: “Honeywell and Inmarsat signed a partnership in 2012 for Honeywell to be the exclusive hardware provider for Global Xpress Ka-band network. Honeywell also signed a master services distribution agreement for business aviation with Inmarsat. Since 2012, Honeywell has successfully developed the fuselage antenna for air transport aircraft and tail-mount antenna for business aviation aircraft to connect to Inmarsat’s Global Xpress Ka-band services.”

2. IFExpress: We know you make the antenna, but our readers would be interested in understanding if the Ka Band Amplifier/transmitter/receiver is part of the product line too and is it new?

ANS: “Honeywell is the exclusive hardware provider for Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network. The JetWave system includes the fuselage antenna for commercial airlines, tail-mount antenna for business aviation aircraft, the Modman (modem and terminal), KRFU (frequency converter and amplifier) and KANDU (antenna control and networking unit) hardware.”

3. IFExpress: What is the expected average user data rate (X Mbps)?

ANS: “JetWave and Global Xpress services can provide up to 33Mbps to business aviation aircraft and up to 50Mbps to air transport aircraft.”

4. IFExpress: Besides the test plane, is the unit installed on any other aircraft?

ANS: “There are over 15 different aircraft models/types working on installing JetWave to access the Global Xpress network across commercial, business aviation and government end markets including:

· Honeywell’s Dassault Falcon 900 test aircraft has installed JetWave for flight testing.

· JetWave hardware has been delivered to support the first A350 GX Aviation installation

· Bombardier is currently working on certifying JetWave on their Global Express aircraft”

5. IFExpress: Is Honeywell willing to talk price?

ANS:Service packages will be defined and managed by Inmarsat and our Value-Added-Resellers (VARs), who bring years of experience in developing and introducing tailored and cost effective connectivity solutions to airlines and their passengers.”

6. IFExpress: As you might know, Gogo had a very successful Press demo of their Ku Band system, are you folks going to do the same?

ANS: “Yes definitely, we plan to demonstrate the system to customers and media in 2016.”

7. Can you talk a bit about the potentially lower data rate costs to consumers?

ANS: “Service packages will be defined and managed by Inmarsat our Value-Added-Resellers (VARs), who bring years of experience in developing and introducing tailored and cost effective connectivity solutions to airlines and their passengers.”

8. IFExpress: We assume the coverage is worldwide?

ANS: “Inmarsat Global Xpress is the first high-speed broadband network to span the world.”

9. IFExpress: Have you tested the Ka system in weather and what did you find?

ANS: “The certification of Honeywell’s JetWave hardware was achieved following more than 180 flight hours and multiple rigorous tests aboard Honeywell’s Boeing 757 test aircraft, which showed that the system would stay connected to Inmarsat’s GX network at various altitudes, angles and speeds, through several different types of weather, and over land and water.”

10. Is the Ka service available over the US today?

ANS: “Inmarsat’s I-5 F2 satellite was launched on 1 February 2015 to deliver regional GX services for the Americas and the Atlantic Ocean Region.

11. IFExpress: Any customers bought/interested/US and/or overseas?

ANS: “See below:

  • Singapore Airlines has selected JetWave and GX Aviation system for their B777-300ER aircraft, followed by its A380-800s.
  • Lufthansa announced that GX Aviation has been selected for its short and medium-haul flights – the first Lufthansa aircraft will be fitted with the new technology in early summer 2016
  • Qatar Airways has committed to equipping their fleet with GX Aviation through the Thales A350 in-flight entertainment/connectivity program
  • Vietnam Airlines selected GX Aviation for its A350 fleet through Inmarsat and Honeywell partners, Thales and Gogo
  •  Air China will test GX Aviation on its A330 aircraft
  • Airbus is far along in the engineering and certification work to make GX and JetWave hardware option for new aircraft in production across its entire catalog, and numerous certification processes are engaged to ensure GX and JetWave hardware availability for retrofit applications
  • Honeywell continues to work with Boeing on its technical services agreement to confirm offerability for Boeing platforms including the 787, 777, and 737NG
  • For the business aviation segment, Bombardier has selected GX Ka-band business aviation service for the Global 5000, Global 6000, Global 7000 and Global 8000 platforms
  • Haitec Aircraft Maintenance signed an agreement to jointly develop an A319 STC for the corporate jet market

Honeywell is continuing to work with airlines around the globe and aircraft manufacturers to bring JetWave and Global Xpress services to passengers and operators.”

12. IFExpress: What is the biggest market you see for the products?

ANS: “In the coming years the de facto standard for in-flight comfort will be giving passengers the freedom to keep connected even while flying at 35,000 feet and we see this demand around the globe. JetWave and Global Xpress will provide truly global and consistent high-speed connectivity that will be demanded around the world – we see strong opportunities around the globe.”

13. IFExpress: What are some good weblinks for our readers to get more on your products?

ANS: “To learn more about Honeywell’s JetWave hardware, please visit

To learn more about Inmarsat’s Global Xpress network, please visit:

Finally, Honeywell noted: The important thing to remember about JetWave and Global Xpress is that:

1. Global Xpress is the only global Ka-band network designed around the requirements of mobile assets, including aircraft. It has the ability to keep aircraft connected over land and water and throughout all phases of flight.

2. Inmarsat Global Xpress is the first high-speed broadband network to span the world.

3. It delivers seamless, globally available, high-speed broadband connectivity on land, at sea, and in the air – provided by a single operator.”


NEWS

A) The folks at RouteHappy developed a great infographic on inflight Wi-Fi: Global State of In-Flight Wi-Fi | Routehappy

B) iPass Inc., a leading provider of global mobile connectivity, announced an agreement with Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic) to bring inflight Internet access to iPass customers on 23 international airlines. Under terms of the agreement, iPass, which provides convenient, secure, always-on Wi-Fi connectivity on any mobile device, will be available on more than 747 Panasonic-equipped aircraft that fly more than 32,000 routes monthly.

iPass, which has agreements with several inflight connectivity providers, now offers service onboard more than 2,700 aircraft. With this partnership, the company extends its service to passengers on airlines around the world, including Air Berlin, All Nippon Airways, and WestJet.

“Inflight Wi-Fi is critical for our business customers, and our partnership with Panasonic extends iPass’ inflight footprint to many of the world’s leading international carriers,” said Patricia Hume, the chief commercial officer of iPass. “Moreover, the partnership supports our strategy to offer iPass everywhere, so that iPass customers can move from airport to airplane to airport and beyond, with one, seamless, Wi-Fi first, Internet experience.”

“We are dedicated to giving our customers a frictionless Internet experience,” said David Bruner, Vice President of Global Communications Services at Panasonic Avionics. “Our partnership with iPass brings convenient access to Wi-Fi connectivity to our customers through a single service, helping them stay connected.

C) Check out the FedEx blog about ORBIS, the sight saving flying hospital service. Remember that ORBIS is APEX’s official charity. We also mention, SIE, was the engineering firm and system integrator for the entire program. The ORBIS Flying Eye Hospital should be going on its first medical/humanitarian mission in the next 8 weeks or so

D) Also, a good friend, Bob Bogash, has a wonderful website featuring the rebuilding of a an old Boeing B727 with great images – 727 Prototype

E) Lastly, congratulations to Thomas Lee of Zodiac Aerospace who is now Vice President – Product Marketing – Zodiac Cabin.

  • First Multi Spot Beam, Ku-Band High Throughput Satellite to Serve Latin America

Luxembourg & Paris | December 11, 2015– Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), the world’s leading provider of satellite services, announced today that the first of the Intelsat EpicNG series of High Throughput Satellites, Intelsat 29e, arrived at the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana, where it will undergo final preparations before its scheduled launch on an Ariane 5 rocket on the 27th of January 2016.

Manufactured by Boeing and equipped with the most advanced digital payload on a commercial spacecraft, Intelsat 29e will bring High Throughput capacity in both C- and Ku-band to North and Latin America and the North Atlantic region, and is designed to be fully interoperable with the already deployed Intelsat satellite fleet and terrestrial infrastructure.

Intelsat EpicNG features an exceptionally flexible high throughput payload design that is backward compatible with already deployed user networks globally. It has an open architecture built to address an expected $3 billion incremental increase in revenue opportunities related to an increase in demand by the year 2020 for satellite-based infrastructure in the enterprise, wireless infrastructure, aeronautical and maritime mobility, government and Internet of Things sectors.

The amount of data traffic in Latin America is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 66 percent from 2014 through year-end of 2018. With surging broadband requirements and an increasing number of smartphone users, the Intelsat 29e flexible and scalable architecture will enable fixed and mobile network operators to cost-effectively extend their networks and meet the surges in broadband demand across the continent.

Select customers in the region have already committed to take advantage of Intelsat EpicNG, include Compania Anonima Nacional Telefonos de Venezuela, BT Latam Venezuela, Anditel, S.A.S, Axesat, Amazonia Cabo Ltda., Cadena Ecuatoriana de Television C.A., Canal 10 CETV, Corporacion Nacional de Telecommunicaciones CNTE.P., Fox Latin America Channels do Brasil, Igrege Mundial do Poder de Deus, Radio e Televisao Banderantes and Telefonica del Peru.

Intelsat 29e will also deliver enterprise-grade, broadband services to aero and maritime mobility service providers and users. The satellite combines wide and high performing spot beam designs facilitating combined broadcast and broadband applications within the same network. As previously announced, prestigious customers such as EMC, Panasonic and Harris CapRock have committed to the Intelsat EpicNG fleet for mobility and fixed and mobile enterprise applications.

Intelsat 29e is currently scheduled for launch on 27 January 2016 during a window that is currently scheduled to open at 5:29 pm EST and closes at approximately 7:36pm EST. Following a successful launch, Intelsat 29e will be placed at the 310°E orbital location, where it will undergo in-orbit testing prior to its expected in-service date of mid-2016.

Intelsat 29e is currently scheduled for launch on 27 January 2016 during a window that is currently scheduled to open at 5:29 pm EST and closes at approximately 7:36pm EST. Following a successful launch, Intelsat 29e will be placed at the 310°E orbital location, where it will undergo in-orbit testing prior to its expected in-service date of mid-2016.

Melbourne, FL | December 8, 2015– Satcom Direct was the first business aviation communications distribution partner to provision its services and transmit data over Inmarsat’s new Ka-band Global Xpress network via the Inmarsat-5 F-1 satellite, in August. It is again the first to validate its services over the Inmarsat-5 F-2 (I-5 F-2) satellite, achieving this milestone in December.

Jet ConneX is the business aviation high-speed broadband service operating over Inmarsat’s new Global Xpress (GX) constellation. When globally deployed, it will deliver a new standard in satellite broadband services that support high data rate applications in flight, including streaming YouTube videos and Skype video calls, in real time. The I-5 F-2 satellite serves the Atlantic Ocean Region.

Satcom Direct (SD) proprietary solutions enhance the Ka-band technology and optimize the Jet ConneX service to deliver unmatched performance in the air. SD exclusive services allow operators to manage and maximize bandwidth, improve voice call quality, prioritize passenger data and more – bringing them a better Jet ConneX experience. Tiered pricing plans allow operators to choose from various data speeds, so they get the connectivity that’s right for them. And, Jet ConneX offers guaranteed minimum data rates for each pricing tier.

“Aircraft operators want and need the fastest possible data speeds in the air. SD is out in front in proving that our services are ready for the next generation networks as soon as they are available to customers,” said Jim Jensen, SD founder and CEO.

“Inmarsat congratulates our partner Satcom Direct on achieving this important milestone. Jet ConneX is a game changer for the business aviation industry, allowing passengers to access high-speed in-flight connectivity with worldwide coverage that is consistent, reliable and unmatched,” said Kurt Weidemeyer, Inmarsat Vice President of Business Aviation.

SD is also an authorized GX value added reseller for U.S. government aviation and enterprise markets.

Recently, IFExpress visited Gogo offices and flight tested the new 2Ku Services – we offer our trip report to our readers!

Gogo Offices – Downtown Chicago

On 11/12/15 we proceeded to Chicago as a result of an invitation from Gogo to flight test their new 2Ku airborne connectivity system. Installed on a B737, the system is only one of the three predominant connectivity platforms developed and operated by Gogo. Two are the existing air-to-ground, lower speed data systems available today – Gogo ATG and ATG4. The new 2Ku system operates on data transmitted from the ground to satellites and then (in a test mode) down to a B737 platform which operates out of Gary, Indiana International airport.

After a tour of their new facilities in the downtown Chicago Loop (next to Boeing), where some of the hardware was displayed, we listened to a presentation by their customer care manager. He told us that 79% of their usage questions were for chat messaging, 10% was for calls (business jets), and 11% was for email issues. We don’t know how this was measured – based on digital data bits, time, or measurements of the indicated usage, but “Clearly,” they noted, “the growth trend is toward digital chatting!” And we agree – SMS and text messaging are the future.

Further, Gogo noted that their Chat Help was a very useful solution to customers who need help on the plane, and it is done via their (the pax) devices without logging on to the service on the plane. Here is a breakdown of their chat help subject issues – 53% logging on, 8% billing and subscriptions, 13% video issues, 13% dropped calls, and 3% general. They noted that they use customers contact data daily to analyze the Gogo product/service. This capability to chat with the Gogo help personnel (located in Boulder, Colorado) will be utilized on all products – ATG, ATG 4, and 2Ku. They even have a feature wherein a customer and a helper can co-browse (with the customers permission) and walk them thru a customer screen. Further, they can even take over their device for assistance in the most challenging cases.

In Engineering, we saw an elegant noise free area for simulation installation inside a theoretical aircraft. They will use this facility for mostly 2Ku installations now. The primary software room was for in system testing and integration… there were some 10 rows of floor to ceiling cabinets with all types of hardware that were under test, all with various loads of software – quite impressive. Interestingly, there is very little encryption on all ground to aircraft communication but we believe that is under evaluation at this time. Gogo told us that they have a proprietary data communication but not at the level one would see in the DOD.

We were surprised that Gogo builds virtually no equipment – they spec it out. What they do is software, and a lot of it. We don’t have time here to cover that subject but the network solution, along with the hardware, is software… and Gogo is quite proud of it.

The Network Operation Center (NOC) was very impressive. Basically Gogo monitors every airplane and keeps track of any issue that could impact their operations. Further, they can communicate with each flying system to ascertain how their product is performing. Some 20 large screens and people work 24/7 to monitor their products – very impressive. The center monitors worldwide aircraft – commercial or business installations. This solution is really done right and nothing is left out…. even tracking outages. We really wonder why they weren’t presently offering an aircraft data download solution . When asked, they replied that that is the next market they will be pursuing and IFExpress will begin watching that potential product with them next. We should also mention that they monitor all their ground sites there as well.

However, we did note that they have introduced some real time product purchasing in their service with the likes of Amazon and others. It remains to be seen how successful this effort will be but the service is available on some airlines today. We were surprised that Monday and Thursday were the “active” day for higher sale traffic. However, this may have to do with the business community’s travel schedule.

Gogo told us that today they have some 246 ground installations (for ATG and ATG4 – 800 to 900 MHz range). Gogo started operations with 96 of these ground based antenna sites and are continually adding more to their network. They do not foresee dropping sites either, and if internal aircraft network or system status data ever takes off, they will have a lot of applicability as the data will probably be more resident in the slower speed service. Further as aircraft get more high speed communication links, it might be a good home for data reception, aggregation and forwarding. And as you might guess, data to the aircraft probably exceeds data from it, so that may be another case in point for obtaining aircraft performance data like engine parameters and history, fuel levels, battery and power data and so on for the future. Face it, any data communication service, to and from the aircraft, has a future and the Gogo’s existing system is an obvious home. Expect to hear more about this feature in the future.

Aircraft Communication Testing

Next we went to the airport and walked out to the Boeing 737 at the small Gary Indiana International Airport. The dual circular panel ThinKom Ku antenna is flat and consists of two flat plane antennas, electronically steered… all under a radome (behind of the wings) on the top of the plane. On the test aircraft, the antenna can be seen.

Inside the aircraft, it is configured as one would expect a demonstrator might be. Five rows of Business class seats 2 x 2 for front visitors and approximately 30 coach seats for other visitors in the back, Gogo employees, and vendors. Our flight had mainly press attendees occupying approximately some 20 visitor seats. Four Gogo folks were in attendance to help Wi-Fi users and demo Gogo broadcast streaming TV. The tests were provided to some 40 reporters and camera persons… on 2 flight trials – one in the morning for 20 and one in the afternoon for the rest.

Once in flight (and it was a very turbulent flight), we began the trial of the service. The system did not feature any setups or complicated directions – just load the “gogoinflight” password in your Wi-Fi permissions and the system was ready for browsers, Facebook, chat or whatever app, and “game on”!

Realistically, we expected setup issues but there were none. Important to note, each member of the press had a minimum of 2 devices running all the time, while some had three. In fact, one individual had 8 YouTube videos running simultaneously.

During testing we ran Speedtest to see system loading and saw extremes form 1 to 20 Gigabits per second Internet speeds. Perhaps the average was around 5 to 6 GB/sec. connectivity speeds. If we assume 50 to 60 devices were running simultaneously, total available speeds were excellent.

To sum up the experience – “Time went so fast flying with Wi-Fi, bad weather was not an issue and we were disappointed to land so soon!”


Rockwell Collins debuted PAVES seat-centric in-flight entertainment (IFE) system has entered into service on a new Next-Generation Boeing 737-800 delivered to Biman Bangladesh Airlines. The company’s advanced large-screen, high-definition (HD) IFE system is featured in both business and economy classes. With PAVES, airlines are able to develop their own look and experience for passengers as well as efficiently manage non-DRM content via Rockwell Collins’ graphical user interface (GUI) developer kit through a web portal management tool. Further, the system features an open-software architecture to support customized and third-party applications with minimal effort. (IFExpress notes that this was an in-sequence installation at the Boeing Renton, WA. facility.)


Next year, there may be a way for folks in the know to address IFExpress readers. Technical, IFE industry views and visions are all a possibility and we just might feature your thoughts and words – Stay Tuned!

NBAA, Las Vegas | November 16, 2015– To better represent its expanded offerings beyond satellite communications solutions, Satcom Direct has changed its brand identity to SD.

The move stems from the company’s ongoing technology advancements and strategic partnerships, which have broadened its capabilities as a global connectivity provider. In addition to SATCOM, SD offers secured network capabilities, air-to-ground solutions, and value-added services to make those networks faster, more efficient and more secure. The company name will remain Satcom Direct, while using the “SD” mark and initials to represent its evolution as a company.

“From the beginning, SD has been an innovator, delivering numerous technology advancements to business aviation and government customers. We received a patent for our very first product, the Global One Number®, and we’ve continued to bring new technologies to the marketplace. We’ve been Satcom Direct since 1997, and now we’re even more,” said Jim Jensen, SD founder and CEO.

More than a satellite communications provider, SD delivers global connectivity via services that enable clients to use satellite, air-to-ground and 3G cellular networks, seamlessly, via its exclusive router the SDRTM. Proprietary value-added enhancements accelerate data, improve voice call quality, and enable use of smartphones at any altitude, anywhere in the world.

Along with significant additions to its product portfolio, in October, SD celebrated its latest milestone with the grand opening of its new state-of-the-art 42,000-sq-ft world headquarters in Melbourne, Florida. The move consolidated multiple locations in Satellite Beach and Melbourne into a single, larger, more efficient facility. The LEED certified building houses a 24/7 network operations center (NOC), technologies testing lab, and advanced research and development center.

“Our mission is to meet aircraft operators’ demands for better and more secure connectivity in both the cabin and the cockpit, wherever they fly. The NOC enables SD to monitor the performance of our services and applications, as well as airborne network providers, facilitating our world class support. The next generation of SD services will help synchronize the aircraft with the flight department, bringing our customers a technology platform like nothing else in the industry,” Jensen said.

  • First Intelsat EpicNG high-performance satellite will be placed in orbit by Ariane 5

Luxembourg | November 10, 2015– Intelsat S.A. (NYSE: I), the world’s leading provider of satellite services, announced today that Intelsat 29e, the first of the Intelsat EpicNG high throughput satellites, is scheduled to launch on January 27, 2016, aboard an Arianespace Ariane 5 ECA launch vehicle from the Guiana Space Center in Kourou, French Guiana.

Manufactured by Boeing, Intelsat’s EpicNG satellites operate in both C-and Ku-band, and are fully interoperable with the entire Intelsat satellite fleet. The Intelsat EpicNG satellites will operate the most advanced digital payload commercially available, providing commercial and government customers access to high throughput capabilities, which will result in a flexible broadband infrastructure that will scale to meet their needs.

Located at 310° East, Intelsat 29e will replace Intelsat 1R and Intelsat 805. The payload will enable the delivery of enterprise-grade, broadband services to fixed and mobile network operators, aero and maritime mobility service providers, and to government customers operating throughout the Americas. The satellite will also provide spot beams for mobility customers serving the heavily trafficked North Atlantic region. To date, companies such as Harris CapRock, Panasonic, EMC (formerly MTN), Axesat and leading national telecom operators in Latin America will be among the first to deploy services on the platform.

“This is an exciting time for our company, with Intelsat leading the way with new satellite-based solutions that address the needs of our always-connected world,” stated Stephen Spengler, Chief Executive Officer, Intelsat. “With broadband demands only increasing, Intelsat 29e will enable our customers to extend the reach of their networks and provide high quality, fast, reliable connectivity, whether they are serving end users in flight, at sea or increasing the amount of throughput on existing broadband infrastructure. With 2016 fast approaching, Intelsat 29e is completed and awaiting shipment to the launch site. Intelsat continues to work closely with Boeing and Arianespace to ensure that Intelsat 29e is ready for its planned January launch date and to mark the next evolution in Intelsat’s longstanding history of innovation.”

Intelsat 29e marks the first of Intelsat’s next generation EpicNG satellite fleet that combines wide beams and spot beams with frequency reuse technology to meet customers’ growing demand for broadband connectivity worldwide. Intelsat29e will be the 56th Intelsat satellite orbited by Arianespace and the first dedicated launch aboard an Ariane 5 rocket for Intelsat. Intelsat expects to launch the second Intelsat EpicNG satellite, Intelsat 33e, which will serve Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia, in the third quarter of 2016, also aboard an Arianespace launcher.