Inmarsat and Honeywell announced the launch of SwiftJet, their latest inflight connectivity service for the business aviation industry. It will enter commercial service in the first half of 2023 and deliver the fastest ever speeds over L-band, the companies claim.
As one of the first new services to be introduced on Inmarsat’s ELERA satellite network, SwiftJet will offer global coverage across flight routes with maximum speeds of 2.6Mbps, up to six times faster than Inmarsat’s existing business aviation connectivity solution over L-band. This will allow passengers to create a secure ‘office in the sky’ with enhanced capabilities for video calls, web browsing, email, texting, cloud-syncing and collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams. Social media and video applications such as TikTok and YouTube, which were previously challenging over L-band, will also be enabled.
As the latest addition to Inmarsat’s market-leading portfolio of business aviation inflight connectivity services, SwiftJet will be available alongside Jet ConneX (JX) and SwiftBroadband(SBB), which have been activated on thousands of jets worldwide. JX is the most popular and widely-adopted premium, high-speed solution available today, powered by a global constellation of Ka-band satellites. Additionally, SBB offers speeds of 432Kbps over L-band using smaller antennas that are suitable as a secondary system to JX or as primary connectivity for smaller or older aircraft.
SwiftJet uses advanced hardware from Inmarsat’s partner Honeywell, which can be equipped on a broad range of aircraft and also supports cockpit and safety services. Existing customers of Inmarsat’s SBB service will benefit from a natural upgrade path without needing to replace any externally-mounted aircraft equipment, while new customers will experience the same ease of installation as with any Inmarsat L-band terminal. The service also creates new opportunities in the smaller jet market, which have previously been restricted to basic voice or text connectivity that fails to meet the needs of modern day travellers. It is available to pre-order through Honeywell, with additional incentives in an early adopter campaign.
Kai Tang, Inmarsat’s Head of Business Aviation, said: “Inmarsat prides itself on delivering services that meet the unique and fast-evolving requirements of our customers. As the market leader in business aviation connectivity, Inmarsat developed SwiftJet in response to customer and partner feedback for a faster, more advanced L-band offering. They essentially asked us to amplify L-band capabilities without losing its trademark characteristics of resilience, reliability and availability.”
Adam Sheppard, Honeywell Aerospace’s Director of Aircraft Connectivity, said: “SwiftJet represents the latest leap forward for inflight connectivity, combining Inmarsat’s commercial satellite capabilities and Honeywell’s connected aircraft expertise to provide scalable, high-speed satellite communications to passengers at 40,000 feet. With Inmarsat we have created a straightforward upgrade path for SwiftBroadband customers, giving them easy access to unprecedented internet speeds over L-band without having to change wiring or antenna hardware.”