SpaceX can now deliver its satellite-based internet service to “Earth Stations in Motion,” paving the way for the network to go live on airplanes, ships, and other moving vehicles. The FCC ruling is a major step forward for Starlink’s consumer and enterprise services, including plans to activate service on commercial aircraft later this year.
Electronically steered antennae (ESAs) are coming to commercial and business aviation. But not everyone is in a hurry to get there. Two companies with ESA products on their roadmap took a step back focusing on existing, proven technology platforms instead.
Deutsche Telekom continues to smooth the process for buying WiFi on board. The company launched the FlyNet application, in partnership with Lufthansa, to help customers connect across any of the airline’s flights, regardless of the underlying internet service provider. And there’s a lot more to come.
More than a thousand larger regional jets fly across North America. All of them deliver a sub-par inflight WiFi experience. But that could soon change, as multiple airlines move to upgrade the systems on board over the next few years.
Air Canada’s A321 fleet will soon fly with the Intelsat 2Ku in-flight internet solution. Under the agreement the carrier will upgrade its offering for 15 existing aircraft, while also taking 15 new deliveries with the system installed from the Airbus factory in Hamburg.
China remains, somewhat surprisingly, one of the least connected aerospace markets in the world. Once again, however, there are hints that could change with the deployment of a massive air-to-ground network. Backed by local airlines, telecom companies, and – most importantly – the government, efforts are once again underway to deliver a trial ATG network in the country.
Nearly every conversation about in-flight connectivity at Aircraft Interiors Expo 2022 in Hamburg this week includes mention of the SpaceX Starlink offering. Company executives are wandering the show floor carrying an antenna panel that they hope will soon be certified to fly, while airlines and competitors alike debate the unique path the company has chosen for nearly every facet of the offering.
Airlines can now deliver power and WiFi on board more efficiently, thanks to the next generation of Astronics offerings. The company’s new CabinAXe wireless access point and EmPower® UltraLite G2 USB power solutions each bring notable upgrades to their respective product line.
No one knows what the future holds. But the Crystal Cabin Awards offer a big hint for the world of aircraft interiors. Held in conjunction with the Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg, and back at full strength after a two year hiatus, this year’s CCA winners touch on sustainability, operational improvements, inflight entertainment, and flight safety.
When Hughes Network Systems delivers its new electronically steered antenna (ESA) for connectivity via the OneWeb low earth orbit satellite constellation Gogo will be the only buyer for the business aviation market. The companies announced an exclusivity deal for the kit as part of a 10-year agreement.