Airbus has launched Airspace Link HBCplus, a satellite connectivity system that will be offered as an SFE line-fit catalogue option and also for retrofit on all Airbus aircraft. HBCplus initially encompasses Ka-band services, enabling airlines to connect to a choice of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) via a new certified terminal and radome built as part of the aircraft. Airbus has further plans to extend HBCplus to include MSPs that offer Ku-band services.
André Schneider, Airbus’s VP of cabin & cargo programmes said the connectivity service will, “provide improved speed and reliability for passenger experience and more flexibility. Together with our leading industry partners we are pleased to enable future connectivity business opportunities in the context of the Airspace Link open ecosystem.”
Airbus has selected connectivity satcom provider Inmarsat as the first MSP, which will contribute its GX Aviation inflight broadband. Additional MSPs will join the HBCplus offering in due course.
Meanwhile Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) has been selected as the terminal provider and hardware integrator of ThinKom’s antenna technology – targeted for Ka-band services – which delivers high data throughput and reliability combined with aircraft fuel savings thanks to the antenna’s low-drag radome.
Airspace Link HBCplus provides satcom-based off-board connectivity for the Airspace Link open ecosystem, which represents an end-to-end Airbus offer. The airframer believes this solution, which enables the exchange of data as one seamlessly integrated aircraft system, is ideally positioned to unlock future digital services capacity and demand growth.