Mobile satellite communications services provider, Inmarsat, has signed a MOU to make Rockwell Collins a Value Added Reseller (VAR) of its GX Aviation Ka-broadband service. Under the terms of the agreement, Rockwell Collins, through its recent acquisition of ARINC, will bring the newest generation of Ka-band service to airline customers worldwide. GX Aviation is scheduled to be available for the commercial aviation market segment in the first half of 2015, and is claimed to provide Internet speeds of 50Mbps virtually everywhere in the world.
This isn’t the first time the companies have worked together. Since the launch of Inmarsat’s aviation services over 20 years ago, ARINC has been a provider of cockpit voice and data services for airlines over Inmarsat’s networks, while Rockwell Collins has been providing Inmarsat-enabled avionics. Rockwell Collins is already a reseller of GX Aviation airtime in the business aviation market segment, and upon agreement will be able to provide a full solution offering to airlines to support all of their satcom connectivity needs from the cockpit to the cabin.
Jeff Standerski, senior vice president of information management services for Rockwell Collins explained, “Airlines need to know they can provide the same service on every flight, all over the world, and that is what Inmarsat provides. The imminent launch of GX Aviation is very exciting and we are looking forward to working with airlines to bring a broad range of new applications to airlines and passengers. Combining GX Aviation with our strong portfolio of existing Rockwell Collins products for the cabin, such as our PAVES inflight entertainment and Airshow moving map system product lines will add tremendous value for our customers and their passengers.”
“We are building an exceptional network of resellers for GX Aviation, added Miranda Mills, president of Inmarsat Aviation. “The very best companies in the industry are working to ensure GX Aviation is widely available for airlines and therefore their passengers. For the first time, passengers will have access to the same level of high-speed broadband throughout entire flights.”
The first of three GX Aviation satellites is already in orbit and undergoing final testing, with the second and third scheduled to be in place before the end of the year. The airborne hardware is in the production phase; testing and certification will happen in early 2015, at which point GX Aviation will be available for airlines.