DN - Defence Notes

WAEA: 3,000-up for Inmarsat Swift 64

10th September 2008 - 00:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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LONDON-based L-band aeronautical satcoms operator Inmarsat announced here yesterday that its Swift 64 service, which delivers up to 64kbit/sec, had reached the milestone of 3,000 channels installed on aircraft worldwide. The figure represents an increase of a thousand channels in less than a year.

"Our aeronautical business is underpinned by the continuing strong performance of Swift 64," says Inmarsat aero marketing chief Lars Ringertz. "Adopted early by government and business aviation users, Swift 64 is now making headway in air transport, particularly for in-flight mobile phone, other passenger connectivity applications, and electronic flight bag updates."

Inmarsat's latest offering to aviation is the 432kbit/sec-per-channel SwiftBroadband, introduced last October. "SwiftBroadband is entering service even faster than Swift 64 did when it was first introduced," says Ringertz. "We expect to see it adopted ever more quickly in air transport once the required avionics have certificated on a broad range of airframes."

SwiftBroadband uses the advanced capabilities of the Inmarsat-4 satellites, the third and last of which was launched last month to complete global coverage. "Our vision for SwiftBroadband is a global broadband network for aviation - the launch of the third satellite is the final step towards making that a reality," says Ringertz.

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