Inmarsat secured a new way into space. The company signed on with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries as the first commercial customer for the H3 launch vehicle. The launch is expected in 2022(ish).
The first two aircraft in Latin America with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight connectivity solution are now online. Avianca officially inaugurated the service this week, launching a two month trial period where passengers can connect for free while in flight.
Air-to-ground connectivity networks do not work over water. The word ground is right there in the name. Not ocean, not sea. Ground. And yet, Deutsche Telekom has its eyes on changing the rules of ATG networking, bringing the technology to some overwater flights to further support Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network (EAN) operations. The idea might not be as crazy as it sounds.
Air-to-ground connectivity networks do not work over water. The word ground is right there in the name. Not ocean, not sea. Ground. And yet, Deutsche Telekom has its eyes on changing the rules of ATG networking, bringing the technology to some overwater flights to further support Inmarsat's European Aviation Network (EAN) operations. The idea might not be as crazy as it sounds.
Low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite constellations promise higher capacity and lower latency for connections. They also bring significant challenges, mostly owing to far more frequent satellite switching to maintain a connection. Add in an airplane moving though the sky and the complexity increases further. Multiple vendors are now moving through the testing process, with plans to deliver functional solutions as early as 2019, well ahead of the satellite constellations being ready for such connections.
Airlines in India could be online as soon as October. The legal wrangling is approaching its final phase, after which Jet Airways and Global Eagle are expected to be the first to activate satellite-based inflight connectivity services.
Gogo posted better than anticipated numbers for Q2 '18 this morning, giving the company's share price a nice boost in early morning trading, though it has since given back some of the gains. The business aviation segment continues to lead the company's fortunes but some glimmers of success in the commercial segments are showing, too. So long as American Airlines is excluded from all considerations.
Inmarsat reported its first half financial results this morning in London with one surprising bit of data: The GX commercial aviation service finally started generating airtime revenue is Q2 '18, more than a year after entering service on some commercial aircraft.
Partners are important. But Viasat is not deterred by its lack of partners when it comes to developing the global ViaSat-3 constellation of Ka-band satellite connectivity. Indeed, the wait while searching for a partner on one of the satellites may prove beneficial when it finally launches.
A big win today for aircraft monitoring and safety: Space-based ADS-B operator Aireon secured a $69 million investment from UK’s NATS to help fund operations. And the biggest winner might be Iridium, the satellite operator hosting the services.