April 15, 2024

Saudi to roll out GX Aviation

Saudi is to roll out an advanced new terminal for Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight broadband in early 2023 following the conclusion of flight trials testing performance.

Performance was tested across more than 320 simultaneous online user sessions and sustained throughput of over 200Mbps using the lightweight, low-drag Falcon 300 terminal, developed with Stellar Blu (previously GDC Technics). The terminal  has received full type approval for use over Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) satellite network.

GX Aviation will be installed and activated on 35 Airbus A321neo and Airbus A321XLR aircraft.

The terminal is designed to meet the increasing connectivity needs of airline passengers around the world, allowing them to stream high-definition videos, download documents, browse the internet, shop online, enjoy social media and more, all from the comfort of their seat and using their personal devices.

The high performance terminal is compatible with all existing and upcoming satellites from Inmarsat’s GX network. Key features include Stellar Blu’s unique modem manager (MODMAN), with exclusive components by Kontron and next-generation modem by iDirect, together with a proven, reliable flat panel antenna by ThinKom. To boost efficiencies and reduce costs, Inmarsat’s Advanced Integrated Services Manager (AISM) will be natively hosted on the MODMAN, enabling passenger sessions and traffic to be managed without the need for separate hardware.

By combining high reliability and low drag performance, the total cost of ownership is said to be lowered and the impact on fuel burn minimised.

William Huot-Marchand, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Inflight Connectivity, said: “The results of our flight trials have demonstrated the terminal’s ability to consistently deliver the highest levels of connectivity, even over the world’s busiest airspaces. And with final type approval now in place, we are fast approaching commercial service at the beginning of next year.”

Tracy Trent, President of Stellar Blu, said “To remain the most reliable inflight broadband solution in the market and continuously offer greater capacity and speeds to airline customers, Inmarsat’s GX Aviation must be backed by the highest-performance hardware. It’s been our pleasure to develop and test this advanced new Falcon 300 terminal with Inmarsat, while also providing additional value as the lead for integration, certification and installations.”