Honeywell and Thales Alenia Space issued a joint announcement on September 21 regarding their newly-formed partnership. Honeywell will integrate the avionics and satellite antenna systems of its Inmarsat Global Xpress service with Thales’ cabin network solutions to create a Ka-band in-flight connectivity service.
Honeywell and Thales will leverage the Ka-band broadband capacity of Global Express to offer in-flight connectivity bandwidth of up to four times greater than the current standard. The Inmarsat satellite Internet service will allow for media-rich applications such as virtual office capability, video conferencing, real-time satellite TV channel viewing, and social media connectivity. It will also reportedly be more cost-effective than competitors' in-flight Internet services.
The three Global Xpress Ka-band satellites are currently being built at aerospace company Boeing's facilities in El Segundo, California. The first satellite has been scheduled for a 2013 launch.