Honeywell and Inmarsat to improve in-flight connectivity

Data speeds on planes are expected to surge in about two years as a result of the companies' work

Honeywell and Inmarsat have signed a deal to cooperate on next-generation in-flight connectivity systems that will increase the maximum bandwidth to 50M bps (bits per second), they said on Wednesday.

Honeywell will develop the onboard hardware that will connect to Inmarsat's Global Xpress network.

The bandwidth increase is possible thanks to the system's use of the so-called Ka-band, which is found between 26.5GHz and 40GHz.

The availability of larger chunks of spectrum in that band -- compared to what current systems have at their disposal in the Ku-band -- makes the increase to a maximum 50M bps possible, according to a spokesman at Inmarsat. That compares to Inmarsat's existing system, which offers speeds at up to 0.4M bps, he said.

To improve performance, the Global Xpress network will also use spot beam technology, which in turn uses lots of smaller beams of data to communicate between the satellite and the ground, the spokesman said.

Global Xpress is scheduled for launch in 2013, with global service availability for commercial, business aviation and government customers during 2014.

The market for in-flight communication systems will get more competitive in the future. Deutsche Telekom, Alcatel-Lucent and Airbus have tested data communication between an aircraft and the ground, using LTE, which will help make in-flight data access cheaper, they said in March.

Systems that use LTE are expected to become commercially available in 2015. The timing of the introduction is dependant on several factors, including the availability of spectrum, a spokesman at Alcatel-Lucent said via email at the time.

The deal between Honeywell and Inmarsat is exclusive and is estimated to result in US$2.8 billion for Honeywell in sales of hardware, customer service, and maintenance to airlines, governments and OEMs over the next two decades, according to a statement.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?