Airbus, Rockwell Collins and Tenzing Communications will work together to offer total airborne communications and data management solutions to airlines and their passengers.

The group has signed a memorandum of agreement to provide passenger connectivity onboard commercial aircraft. As part of the agreement, Rockwell Collins will make a $10-million investment in Tenzing, working alongside to develop passenger connectivity.

The team will bring together key industry figures to advance airborne connectivity services to the next stage and deliver them to the world's commercial airlines.


This approach will use existing infrastructure and equipment to give airlines an immediate and affordable solution, true global coverage and a route to upgrade to broadband in the future.

Announcing the agreement at Farnborough, the group says a phased approach to offering connectivity services is planned. Phase one is currently in operation.

Tenzing provides proprietary software that provides inflight access to e-mail and messaging services either via a laptop or on an inseat video screen.

Tenzing's customers include Cathay Pacific, which has been providing e-mail from laptops since 2001.

A full passenger service is planned by the end of this year, with the full fleet of 69 aircraft scheduled to be complete by the end of 2003.

Phase two of the development will include the introduction of higher speed data communication links. Rockwell Collins is providing the infrastructure to provide these links on and off the aircraft through the addition of high-speed transceivers.

Source: Flight Daily News