Airlines looking for an in-flight satellite connection have a new way to choose. Airbus unveiled its HBCplus offering. a flexible satellite connectivity solution, at Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg this week.
The program brings connectivity options into the Supplier Furnished Equipment catalog for line-fit, as well as for retrofit on all Airbus aircraft lines. HBCplus, which initially encompasses Ka-band services, will enable airlines to connect to a choice of Managed Service Providers (MSPs) via a new certified terminal and radome built as part of the aircraft. In the future it is planned to extend HBCplus to include MSPs which offer Ku-band services.
We are excited to offer airlines a new connectivity service solution that will provide improved speed and reliability for passenger experience and more flexibility. Together with our leading industry partners we are pleased to enable future connectivity business opportunities in the context of the Airspace Link open ecosystem.
– André Schneider, Airbus VP Cabin & Cargo Program
The program launches with Inmarsat as the launch network provider, and Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) as the first antenna terminal hardware integrator.
For its part, Inmarsat is proud to have its GX Aviation solution chosen as the first network available in the catalog. Having it as a check-box on the new aircraft order paperwork offers a number of advantages, and the company sees more of that as the first provider in the catalog. But Inmarsat expects that competition is coming, and knows it must continue improvements.
Inmarsat’s William Huot-Marchand sees the new platform as an opportunity for the GX Aviation platform to shine. “The key is to provide innovation. Typically the more you standardize, the less you see innovation. “
Huot-Marchand continues, “When you pick great standard hardware that is…