The Satcom Direct exhibit at the Dubai Airshow (Stand 1938) features a special gold-colored version of its Satcom Direct Router (SDR). The device manages multiple inflight cabin connectivity functions, including voice calls, text messages, emails and Internet access. For a limited time, and with a limited production run, customers will be able to order the special gold unit to install in their aircraft.
One key feature of the SDR is the GlobalVT function, which allows business aircraft passengers to use their ownGSM smartphones through all phases of flight from takeoff to landing for voice calls, text messaging and Internet browsing. This gives users full access to their own contact list and also means that the recipients of calls see the caller ID as a known phone number, with no indication that the caller is flying at the time.
According to U.S-based Satcom Direct, high quality voice calls are ensured through GlobalVT’s voice codec software developed specifically for aircraft satellite communications. The technology deals with latencies in the connection, giving clearer, crisper voice quality. The service can be used through multiple satellite networks.
Another important aspect of the SDR is the SkyBond channel bonding and aggregation service. According to Satcom Direct, this delivers fast inflight data speeds worldwide by combining multiple streaming channels from Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband service. This optimizes the streaming of video and music, and makes video conferencing more viable during flights.
SkyBond can aggregate up to four channels together, providing a larger data pipe and delivering data speeds of up to 1.4 mbps. This achieves airborne connectivity that is just about comparable with what is available in homes and offices on the ground.
Here at the Dubai show, Satcom Direct is also promoting its role as the first distribution partner for Inmarsat’s Jet Connex service, which is the business aviation version of the Global Xpress service developed for the airline market. The service is due to be available before the end of this year and promises the fastest satcom connectivity in private aviation.
Jet Connex uses Inmarsat’s new I-5 satellite constellation and the Ka-band network. Satcom Direct has been involved in testing of the new service using a ground terminal at its international headquarters at Farnborough in the UK.
“The next generation satellite networks are going to advance airborne data speeds in a significant way,” said Satcom Direct founder and CEO Jim Jensen. “Being the first in business aviation to prove our technologies over Inmarsat’s Ka-band network demonstrates that not only does Satcom Direct deliver what flight departments need now, [but that] we’re preparing for the future so that when operators transition to these new networks, the value added services they utilize are in place.”
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