Less than five months after SwiftJet was launched as the world's fastest business aviation inflight connectivity service over L-band, Inmarsat has named industry heavyweights Satcom Direct and Honeywell as its first global distribution partners. The connectivity service will enter service in the first half of 2023 and customers are now able to engage with their preferred distribution partners, as well as aircraft manufacturers and installation providers, to commence discussions on price plans, service contracts, upgrade feasibility and more.
As one of the first new services to be introduced on Inmarsat's ELERA satellite network, SwiftJet offers seamless global coverage and maximum speeds of 2.6Mbps, up to six times faster than Inmarsat's existing L-band business aviation connectivity service, SwiftBroadband (SBB). This allows passengers to create a secure 'office in the sky' with enhanced capabilities for video calls, web browsing, email, texting, cloud-syncing and collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams. Social media and video apps such as YouTube, which were previously challenging over L-band, will also be enabled.
SwiftJet uses advanced hardware from Inmarsat's partner Honeywell, which can be equipped on a broad range of aircraft and also supports cockpit and safety services. Existing customers of Inmarsat's SBB service will benefit from a natural upgrade path through minimal changes to the installed equipment, while new customers will experience the same ease of installation as with any Inmarsat L-band terminal. The service also creates new opportunities in the smaller jet market, which have previously been restricted to basic voice or text connectivity that fails to meet the needs of modern-day business travellers.
As the latest addition to Inmarsat's portfolio of business aviation inflight connectivity services, SwiftJet will be available alongside SBB and Jet ConneX (JX), powered by a global Ka-band satellite constellation.
Head of business aviation Kai Tang says: “SwiftJet is testament to how Inmarsat continues to develop its popular inflight connectivity solutions in direct response to feedback from customers and partners. The business aviation market has entered an exciting new period of growth, with flight volumes now higher than pre-pandemic levels. However, expectations around the digital onboard experience have also evolved considerably and the market has challenged us to amplify L-band capabilities. This ensures business travellers can enjoy faster connections across more devices whenever and wherever they fly without compromising on key characteristics of resilience, reliability and availability.
“We have worked hard to make the service available at the earliest opportunity. Customers can now talk to Satcom Direct and Honeywell, two of our longest-standing partners in business aviation, about enabling SwiftJet's ground-breaking capabilities as soon as it enters service next year.”
Inmarsat's ELERA global satellite network delivers the world's most reliable and flexible global connectivity, with full redundancy and unique resilience in all conditions. ELERA capabilities are being further enhanced with the addition of two Inmarsat-6 satellites, the largest and most sophisticated commercial communications satellites ever built, both of which are scheduled to enter service next year and will support SwiftJet through the 2030s, reinforcing the service's long-term value. The L-band capacity on each I-6 satellite will be substantially greater than Inmarsat's fourth generation spacecraft, delivering 50 per cent more capacity per beam in addition to unlimited beam routing flexibility.
The I-6 series of satellites will also play a crucial role in the ongoing growth of Inmarsat's unique ORCHESTRA dynamic mesh network, which will bring existing geosynchronous (GEO) satellites together with low earth orbit satellites (LEO) and terrestrial 5G to form an integrated, high-performance solution, unmatched by any existing or planned competitor offering.