Before I start getting accused of having some sort of anagenda – does that girl never stop singing the praises of in-flight high-speedInternet, (ahem)? – I want to tell you about technology that makes Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband(SBB) service faster.
The solution comes from Satcom1, a small firm headquartered onthe grounds of Le Bourget airport in France. During the Paris air show,I visited with Satcom1, which demonstrated how its AvioIP software canaggregate two channels of Inmarsat’s X-Stream streaming class of service (whichdelivers quality-of-service speeds of up to 280 kbps) to offer average speedsof 550 kbps, ensuring that video on the web, for instance, can load faster than the reading toprovide a better fluidity of service.
Coupled with acceleration technology that can further improvethe perception of the speed by using low-level caching and compression, theAvioIP solution is poised to be a hit in the business aviation community.
But what about airlines? Many carriers have fitted theiraircraft – either through linefit or retrofit – with Inmarsat’s regular SBB service,which does a good job supporting in-flight voice, texting and email everywhere except the poles. SBB alsosupports in-flight Wi-Fi, but is not a truly broadband solution (as perceivedby the regular user), as its max speed is 432 kbps/channel. Aggregating four channels of up to 432kbps (allowed as of October this year) to the aircraft through one antenna can glean more bandwidth (click on the chart to see how Inmarsat is able to share the love right now).
Well, ultimately Satcom1 envisions tailoring its solution for such airlines toimprove the speed of SBB service. Meanwhile, the company is already conducting testing for Vision’s connected in-flight entertainment system, which willbe installed on ATR Series 600 aircraft, and is poised to be brought to theSukhoi SuperJet.
Below is my interview with Satcom1 CTO – consultancy andsupport manager Jean-Francois Gault, followed by a video showing theaggregation of 2 x X-Stream using the AvioIP software.