While the expanded coverage and capacity of the GX+ network offering Inmarsat announced last week are huge, so is the news about a new antenna and terminal configuration for the in-flight connectivity solution. The company is now making clear that the upgraded solution, produced in partnership with ThinKom and GDC Technics, is available for all GX Aviation installations.
This next-generation terminal for GX Aviation is not only lightweight and low drag but also boasts one of the lowest engineering failure rates in the market. We are hugely excited about the partnership and look forward to working with Inmarsat and its partners to bring this new terminal to airlines across the world.– Brad Foreman, Chief Executive Officer of GDC Technics
The next-generation terminal includes a robust flat panel antenna developed by Thinkom, which has millions of flight hours behind it. In addition, it has been integrated with smart dual aero modem technology that supports all of Inmarsat’s current and future GX satellites, including the GX+ network. Airlines using the legacy terminal cannot roam on to the GX+ Hughes network today.
The new GDC Technics terminal is certified and flying on Boeing 737-700 aircraft. Additional retrofit and line-fit certifications are currently in progress and expected to be available by the end of this year, including retrofit options for the Airbus A320/330 family, and the Boeing B787 and B777 aircraft.
Inmarsat Aviation President Philip Balaam adds, “There is already interest and excitement for this solution – especially around the terminal’s enhanced performance and its simple integration with both legacy systems and existing partners.”
One critical option in the updated terminal design is that it can support either the ThinKom ThinAir Ka2517 low profile antenna mount or a more traditional tri-band radome installation. In either case the high reliability of the ThinAir platform, combined with the more efficient terminal, is good news for airline operators.
Inmarsat was talking publicly about new antenna and terminal options as far back as October 2018 as it announced a partnership with Panasonic Avionics (PAC). At that time PAC saw itself in the running for delivering the updated solution while Inmarsat suggested it would look to other parties. Now it appears that Panasonic lost the race.
This announcement also confirms the end of the exclusivity period for the JetWave antenna/terminal solution produced by Honeywell.
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