Wireless connectivity takes to the skies.
Honeywell Aerospace and Inmarsat have completed the first phase of tests for GX Aviation broadband services, which aim to bring high-speed wi-fi to airlines.
The tests demonstrated a successful connection between Honeywell’s JetWave and Inmarsat’s I-5 F1 Global Xpress satellite, which was launched in December 2013 and provides GX Aviation services for EMEA and Asia.
Conducted in the UK in June 2015, the latest round of tests included streaming services such as YouTube and radio as well as conducting online conference calls and downloading files. They built on the ground-based tests in March 2015.
Inmarsat’s I-5 F2, which services the Americas and Atlantic Ocean Region, was launched earlier this year. I-5 F3 will complete the global broadband coverage.
Inmarsat Aviation president Leo Mondale said, "These flight tests are an exciting step toward the launch of GX Aviation and bringing a true broadband experience to the market. With GX Aviation, airlines and their passengers can finally experience a connectivity service equivalent to what they are used to on the ground.
"Just having Wi-Fi on board is no longer a differentiator – in the future it will be about the quality of the service. With GX Aviation and Honeywell’s JetWave equipment, Inmarsat will provide a seamless, consistent passenger experience, across all airline routes.
"Everyone is talking about the ‘connected aircraft’ or ‘e-enabled aircraft’ – until now this has just been a vision because no one has had access to a true fast internet service. GX Aviation changes all that. We will set the standards for broadband in the sky.
"This is the coming together of the first part of the eco-system. Next step is announcing our line-fit arrangements. And we will be standing behind our value added reseller partners to support them to meet the needs of their airline customers, ensuring airlines have a choice of service providers to meet their individual needs for in the cabin."
Jack Jacobs, vice president of Safety and Connectivity at Honeywell Aerospace, added: "We are on the cusp of a new era of connectivity in the skies, and the successful testing of our JetWave hardware with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation network is a critical step in getting this service ready for public use.
"Airlines, passengers and pilots continue to demand better, more consistent and faster in-flight Wi-Fi to make their jobs easier and travel experience better. The successful results of the recent tests signify that Honeywell and Inmarsat will soon satisfy these demands."