EMS SATCOM, a division of EMS Technologies Inc., reported that, in collaboration with Thales, it will provide high speed mobile satellite communications systems to OnAir for use on Airbus aircraft. System deliveries, expected to start in late 2006, are estimated to be worth at least $30 M over the next five years. The systems will be used to provide in-flight cell phone and Internet service.

OnAir announced in 2005 that it had selected Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband services and Thales’s SwiftBroadband equipment, based upon the functional advantages of the system. Light and compact, the transceiver and antenna are designed to meet the unique needs of air transport customers, and are expected to help the growth of Thales’s and EMS SATCOM’s air transport businesses.

“This is a significant breakthrough for EMS SATCOM in serving the broadband communication needs of the air-transport industry,” said senior vice president and general manager, Neil Mackay. “This confirms our decision to make strategic investments in satellite mobile communications, and we are enthusiastic about working with Thales.”

“This is an important opportunity for both Thales and EMS SATCOM to deliver in-flight communications capabilities to air transport,” said vice president of Thales Aerospace Division, Commercial Aircraft Solutions, Gil Michielin. “We are pleased to be working with EMS SATCOM to deliver on the next generation in in-flight entertainment.”