Airlines looking at the Inmarsat GX Aviation network have a new option for the antenna and terminal bits, supported by ThinKom and GDC Technics.
The Inmarsat network just got a lot larger. The satellite connectivity provider is teaming with Hughes to bring the JUPITER High Throughput Satellite Ka-band constellation into the GX Aviation network, a major boost to capacity as the company seeks to capture more of the North American market.
A couple weeks ago hopes were high for a new antenna system in flight testing. That dream appears to have come back down to earth as Spirit Airlines’ first A321 with the Thales FlytLive kit installed reentered flight services this week.
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.