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AIRCRAFT INTERIORS 2014: Rockwell Collins signs with Inmarsat to offer Ka-band service to airlines

Inmarsat and Rockwell Collins have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to make Rockwell Collins a Value Added Reseller (VAR) of GX Aviation Ka-broadband service.

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 50 Mbps almost 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.

Jeff Standerski, senior vice-president, Rockwell Collins Information Management Services, remarked, “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.

“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,” Standerski added.

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.

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