Inmarsat Signs Cobham Satcom to Design Terminal for European Aviation Network

By Juliet Van Wagenen | October 7, 2015
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Rendering of Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network
Rendering of Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network. Photo: Inmarsat

[Avionics Today 10-07-2015] Inmarsat has inked a contract with Cobham Satcom, who will design and produce an advanced Mobile Satellite Services (MSS) terminal for its recently announced European Aviation Network high-speed In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) solution.

The terminal will be a vital component in the European Aviation Network, which will be the first aviation passenger connectivity solution in Europe to combine an advanced satellite network, operated by Inmarsat, and LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom, according to Inmarsat. As a result, Inmarsat claims commercial and business airlines will be able to offer reliable, high-speed Internet access to passengers during flights across the continent’s high-traffic flight paths, using Inmarsat’s 30MHz S-band spectrum allocation in all 28 European Union member states.

The European Aviation Network will allow aircraft to switch automatically from Inmarsat’s satellite connectivity to Deutsche Telekom’s terrestrial component using an onboard network communicator, without impact or interference to service delivery. The new terminal will exploit Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) technology to enable a direct connection between aircraft and Inmarsat’s S-band satellite, which is currently being manufactured by Thales Alenia Space.

Cobham Satcom is also responsible for updating the Inmarsat BGAN ground infrastructure to accommodate S-band operation as part of its agreement with Inmarsat.

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