Inmarsat last month began repositioning its I-4 satellite constellation in an effort aimed at providing full global SwiftBroadband coverage and improving network performance. Moving the three I-4 satellites into new orbital slots 24,000 miles in space is a complicated task, but officials say the result will be worth the effort.
Broadband Global Area Network
After years of development and months of anticipation, Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband satellite aeronautical data service is finally poised for takeoff.
At the NBAA Convention last month, EMS Technologies announced that it will begin delivering its new four-channel HSD-400 satcom data terminal early next year. The product initially will support four channels of Inmarsat Swift64 and, according to the Ottawa, Canada-based company, can be upgraded to handle SwiftBroadband (formerly BGAN) service when Inmarsat launches its new I4 satellites in early 2006.
It’s a small world, after all, and the one-two combination of a business airplane and an Internet connection for the cabin can make it seem even smaller.
Customer knowledge today about office-in-the-sky communications technology seems to be similar to the level of understanding of personal computers 10 to 15 years ago. Buyers then knew they needed a PC of some sort but many remained unclear about exactly what kind of computer they needed.
Satellite communications specialist Thrane & Thrane is here at the Dubai airshow with a new compact portable satellite terminal. The Explorer 500 weighs less than three pounds, but offers data rates up to 432 kbps.
Dassault and satcom hardware manufacturer Thrane & Thrane (Booth No. 1858) this week are celebrating a milestone on the path to SwiftBroadband availability with the October 11 first successful proof-of-concept demonstration of airborne connectivity near Paris aboard a Dassault Falcon 900.
As anyone who has flown aboard a private jet can attest, whiling away the time en route with a good book, sampling the catering or just engaging in some quiet conversation with cabin mates can make for an entirely enjoyable experience aloft.
Satellite communications service provider Satcom Direct gave live demonstrations of Inmarsat’s broadband global area network (BGAN) land mobile technology at last month’s NBAA Convention. The precursor to the aviation-specific SwiftBroadband data service, BGAN provides a satellite link to users at speeds equivalent to a DSL connection.
The successful launch of the second Inmarsat-4 communications satellite late last year brings the introduction of SwiftBroadband airborne high-speed-data capability one step closer to reality.