Inmarsat is collaborating with Hughes Network Systems, LLC (Hughes), the global leader in broadband satellite networks and services, to improve inflight connectivity for North American commercial airlines and their passengers.
GX+ North America, which has been specifically designed for North American commercial airlines, will be provided and managed end-to-end by Inmarsat. Prototype flights are expected to start later this year with commercial availability scheduled for 2021.
The offering integrates the capacity of the Hughes Jupiter High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) constellation across North America with Inmarsat’s Global Xpress (GX) HTS satellite network. The combination will offer a combination of unprecedented capacity, speed and reliability to the region, unavailable from any other satellite provider.
GX+ North America will, for the first time, make it possible for North American airlines to meet increasing passenger demand, including the surge in traffic expected from free-of-charge inflight Wi-Fi. North American airline passengers have had to settle for constrained bandwidth activities such as email and limited messaging while on board flights. GX+ North America will give passengers the freedom to stream videos and audio, shop online, check and update social media, and catch up on work, all while in the air.
“GX has firmly established itself as the reference inflight connectivity solution for today’s demanding passengers and is used by airlines worldwide,” said Rupert Pearce, CEO of Inmarsat. “We are very confident that this game-changing collaboration with Hughes, combining their market-leading depth of capacity with Inmarsat’s award-winning passenger connectivity solution, uniquely delivers inflight broadband that is consistently superior regardless of the number of passengers using the service or where they are travelling.”
“This collaboration leverages the full power of the Jupiter System, including the depth of capacity of our Ka-band High-Throughput Satellite fleet, as well as our Jupiter gateways and modems,” said Paul Gaske, executive vice president and general manager, North America division at Hughes. “Combining the Hughes Jupiter System and Inmarsat’s leading inflight connectivity solution, GX+ North America marks a new era for inflight connectivity.”
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