Inmarsat, the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services and Rockwell Collins, a pioneer in communications, aviation electronics and information management, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to make Rockwell Collins a Value Added Reseller (VAR) of GX Aviation Ka-broadband service.
Under the terms of the agreement, Rockwell Collins, through its recent acquisition of ARINC, will bring the newest generation of Ka-band service to airline customers worldwide. GX Aviation is scheduled to be available for the commercial aviation market segment in the first half of 2015. It will provide Internet speeds of 50Mbps virtually everywhere in the world and is set to change the shape of inflight connectivity.
Inmarsat has had a long-term strategic relationship with Rockwell Collins and ARINC, which is now part of Rockwell Collins’ Information Management Services (IMS) business. Since the launch of Inmarsat’s aviation services over 20 years ago, ARINC has been a leading provider of cockpit voice and data services for airlines over Inmarsat’s networks, while Rockwell Collins has been providing Inmarsat-enabled avionics. Rockwell Collins is already a reseller of GX Aviation airtime in the business aviation market segment, and upon agreement will be able to provide a full solution offering to airlines to support all of their satcom connectivity needs from the cockpit to the cabin.
“Rockwell Collins is committed to providing the best in class connectivity solutions for our customers,” said Jeff Standerski, senior vice president, Information Management Services (IMS) for Rockwell Collins. “Airlines need to know they can provide the same service on every flight, all over the world, and that is what Inmarsat provides. The imminent launch of GX Aviation is very exciting and we are looking forward to working with airlines to bring a broad range of new applications to airlines and passengers.”
Standerski added “Combining GX Aviation with our strong portfolio of existing Rockwell Collins products for the cabin, such as our PAVES inflight entertainment and Airshow moving map system product lines will add tremendous value for our customers and their passengers.”
“We are building an exceptional network of resellers for GX Aviation, and we’re looking forward to continuing our tremendous 20-year history of working with Rockwell Collins and ARINC,” said Miranda Mills, President, Inmarsat Aviation. “The very best companies in the industry are working to ensure GX Aviation is widely available for airlines and therefore their passengers. For the first time, passengers will have access to the same level of high speed broadband throughout entire flights.”
The first of three GX Aviation satellites is already in orbit and undergoing final testing, with the second and third scheduled to be in place before the end of the year. The airborne hardware is in the production phase; testing and certification will happen in early 2015, at which point GX Aviation will be available for airlines.