Satcom Direct has unveiled a new version of an airborne data router that could more than treble download speeds on board business jets equipped with the Inmarsat SwiftBroadband satellite service.

The SkyStream bodning and aggregation service will officially launch in July with a new software version in the Satcom Direct Router (SDR), says Sanaa Saadani, head of training for Satcom Direct.

A four-channel system of SkyStream can provide data rates as high as 1.4mbps using the same Inmarsat broadband antenna with a fixed bandwidth limit of about 460kbps. A two-channel system would roughly double the download speed of the existing SwiftBroadband system.

The SDR allows passengers to make satellite phone calls and send text messages using a roaming GSM cellular signal. It means that in-flight phone calls can be made from the caller’s existing cellular number, rather than a line dedicated to a satellite handset on board the aircraft.

The baseline version of the SDR is already installed on more than 200 business jets, including Airbus Corporate Jets, Boeing Business Jets, Bombardier Globals and Gulfstreams, Saadani says.

The SkyStream service accelerates download speeds of the existing network by using data compression and caching techniques, she says.