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Honeywell to Be Exclusive Inmarsat Global Xpress Ka-band Satellite Airtime Provider for In-Flight Wireless Broadband Services


30  October 2012


Honeywell and Inmarsat PLC have agreed to make Honeywell the exclusive wireless airtime reseller for Inmarsat Global Xpress Ka-band aircraft connectivity services and hardware for business aviation jet customers. The five-year agreement will give airplane operators, pilots and passengers access to a higher-speed, in-flight wireless broadband network worldwide.

In addition, Honeywell has signed distribution partner agreements with ARINC Direct and OnAir that will provide the GX Aviation Service directly to business aviation airplane operators. This relationship enables these and other companies to develop innovative applications and services ranging from entertainment and software updates and upgrades to technical aircraft maintenance and customer support.

Cabin Connectivity: Bringing the Home or Office to the Sky

By 2016 it is estimated there will be 10 billion mobile devices in the world, and demand for data traffic is expected to grow by a factor of 50 for smartphones and a factor of 62 for tablets. Honeywell is uniquely poised to meet this demand with in-flight broadband coverage by 2015. Passengers will have access to streaming data ranging from music and movies to social apps and business tools. Business users will be able to access cloud applications, just as on the ground.

Flight Deck Connectivity

Inmarsat Global Xpress Ka-band is a wireless microwave frequency used to deliver broadband services via satellite. It offers higher broadband communication speeds than today's existing satellite networks. This will enable business jet operators, owners and passengers to work, entertain and access the Internet faster than with today's technologies, and do so over bodies of water and around the world versus being restricted to local, land-based access only.

By providing aircraft operators with the hardware and service to access this high-speed GX Aviation connection, Honeywell will give pilots and crew the ability to stream flight preparation and non-flight-critical information in real time. This will revolutionize how pilots communicate with each other and with the broader ground and air traffic community.

For example, business jet pilots will be able to connect their personal electronic devices to the GX Aviation link and communicate information such as streaming weather reports, flight delay information, rerouting, flight management system (FMS) updates, database downloads and more — faster than before.

The agreement also opens up the possibility for minimizing the amount of downtime needed for avionics software and database updates. Pilots and operators can be notified when a newer version of software or database information becomes available. With the simple press of a button, pilots will be able to upgrade their software or databases, in much the same way that current mobile operating system upgrades occur with personal mobile devices. This will greatly reduce the amount of aircraft downtime and minimize the need for technician servicing and training, as well as simplify information delivery on a global scale.

  • Carl Esposito, Vice President, Marketing and Product Management, Honeywell Aerospace, "With these agreements, we're bringing complete wireless connectivity to the aircraft. Whether you're a passenger in the cabin streaming a new video or a pilot in the cockpit checking real-time weather patterns, Honeywell is revolutionizing the way mobile connectivity is experienced in the sky."
  • Ian Dawkins, Chief Executive Officer, OnAir, "We're delighted to offer the latest generation of high-speed broadband connection to our customers. The tie-up between OnAir and Honeywell brings together leading and complementary technologies in their respective fields."