Inmarsat signs pre-agreement to appoint Satcom Direct as distribution partner for SwiftBroadband-Safety

MoU announced for Satcom Direct to supply aviation operators with an advanced broadband solution for cockpit and aircraft operations

October 24, 2016

Inmarsat, the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to appoint Satcom Direct (SD) as a global distribution partner for its next generation SwiftBroadband-Safety aviation service.

A pre-agreement between the two companies has outlined the intention for Satcom Direct to supply aviation operators worldwide with SwiftBroadband-Safety, an advanced new service from Inmarsat that will transform cockpit and aircraft operations.

SwiftBroadband-Safety represents a paradigm shift in the advancement of aviation safety services by utilising secure IP-based broadband connectivity that far exceeds the capabilities of other alternatives in the market. The ‘always on and always secure’ solution enables a range of breakthrough aviation applications, including flight data streaming (‘Black Box in the Cloud’) and real-time Electronic Flight Bag applications, such as networked graphical weather.

It also enables air traffic management modernisation programmes throughout the world and fulfils the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO)’s Global Aeronautical Distress Safety System (GADSS), including global flight tracking, by offering reliable and secure satellite surveillance and communications (FANS/ACARS).

SwiftBroadband-Safety hardware is available for initial retrofit installation on existing aircraft today and will become a standard option on new aircraft deliveries from 2018. The service builds on Inmarsat’s reputation as a provider of high-quality voice and data service to 95% of the world’s trans-oceanic aircraft fleet.

Inmarsat’s MoU with Satcom Direct marks the latest expansion of a successful partnership between both companies. Satcom Direct currently provides the business aviation market with Inmarsat’s Classic Aero safety services and will now be able to provide migration options for existing customers to SwiftBroadband-Safety. It also provides the business aviation market with access to Inmarsat’s current in-flight broadband service for private jet passengers, SwiftBroadband, and its next generation offering, JetConneX.

Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, said: “SwiftBroadband-Safety combines the advantages of broadband connectivity with the proven, extremely reliable L-band spectrum to set a new standard in aviation safety. It offers greater efficiency, reliability and capacity to the cockpit at a lower cost per bit than our trusted Classic Aero service, reflecting Inmarsat’s commitment to delivering the best safety services to commercial airlines and business aviation operators.

“SwiftBroadband-Safety has received a lot of industry support, underscored by its recent selection by Airbus for its A320 and A330 aircraft families, and successful ongoing evaluations by Hawaiian Airlines. Other airlines are also excited and have been asking us how to enable these advanced capabilities. The global aviation industry benefits from embracing new standards and, along with our partner network, we will deliver. We look forward to welcoming Satcom Direct as a distribution partner. They are an agile, innovative player that will now apply their impressive sales experience in the business and general aviation markets to selling SwiftBroadband-Safety to commercial airlines and business aviation operators.”

Chris Moore, Chief Commercial Officer at Satcom Direct, said: “Inmarsat’s Swift Broadband-Safety delivers unparalleled safety communication services to commercial airlines and the business aviation community worldwide. The next generation platform’s flexibility opens up a vast amount of possibilities in terms of how customers can optimise their cockpit and aircraft operations. As a result, we can provide our customers with the most cutting-edge technology in the business, while continuing to provide unrivalled customer care and significant value-add.”