IMS EMEA Newsletter Issue 3 - July 2010


ARINC's direct line to aeronautical satcoms market


ARINC has been named as a distribution partner (DP) for Inmarsat's SwiftBroadband satellite communications service. The company's new status means that it can buy satellite airtime directly from London-based Inmarsat for supply to its customers in air transport, business aviation, governments and the military.

ARINC already has 20 years of experience as an Inmarsat service provider, using capacity supplied by intermediaries to build up the world's largest aeronautical satcoms customer base.

“We're now providing SwiftBroadband in a one-stop transaction,” says Andy Hubbard, recently appointed Managing Director for Europe, the Middle East and Africa. “The communications pipe is part of a complete package, along with flight applications, connectivity software and technical support.”

ARINC is one of only seven SwiftBroadband distribution partners worldwide. To win DP status the company had to demonstrate a range of proprietary and third-party value-added applications, and the ability to provide round-the-clock customer care. “In return, we get direct access to the Inmarsat network,” says Hubbard. “In a change from the previous practice, Inmarsat owns the SwiftBroadband ground Earth stations, cutting out a layer of middlemen and yielding significant savings for the distribution partners and end-users.”

Available round the world via the Inmarsat-4 satellites, SwiftBroadband can deliver IP data at up to 432kbps per channel over a current maximum of two channels per aircraft – the limit is due to be raised to four in 2012. Also supported is streaming data at rates of 8, 16, 32, 64 and 128kbps and beyond with Xstream. Crew and passenger applications include in-seat, GSM and VoIP telephony, instant and text messaging, email, secure VPN and Internet access, in-flight news and electronic flight bag (EFB) updates.

ARINC also offers Inmarsat's established range of Classic Aero services – Aero L (data for safety services), Aero I (voice and up to 4.8kbps through an intermediate-gain antenna) and Aero-H/H+ (voice and 10.5kbps through a high-gain antenna) – and the 64kbps Swift 64.

In corporate aviation the ARINC Direct package of communications, flight planning and other support services is in use aboard 2,000 business jets worldwide, including 300 in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Around ten of these aircraft are SwiftBroadband-equipped and the owners of dozens more have expressed interest in the service.



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