Surf and email while you fly

Inmarsat, the satellite communications company, today announced that it would be showcasing its Swift64 solutions which would allow passengers to surf and email for Middle East commercial and private aviation operators at the Dubai Airshow 2003.

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By  Maddy Reddy Published  December 8, 2003

Inmarsat, the satellite communications company, today announced that it would be showcasing its Swift64 solutions for Middle East commercial and private aviation operators at the Dubai Airshow 2003. Swift64 allows operators to upgrade existing on-board communications systems to provide network access for passengers.

The company claims that its pricing is more afforable and simpler to deploy than the competing Ku-band systems which provides similar services.

The Inmarsat Swift64 platform provides passengers with dial-up quality email and internet access, video conferencing or surveillance/imagery capabilities and secure access to corporate networks.

"Inmarsat's Swift64 platform uses existing aircraft antennae and satellite communication avionics to the maximum extent possible. A limited technology upgrade is needed which in turn delivers an important cost benefit to the airline, government or business aircraft operator," says Simon Tudge, marketing manager, aeronautical business, Inmarsat.

The solution provides either mobile ISDN or mobile packet data services, operating on Inmarsat's Global Area Network (GAN) platform, which delivers up to 64kbit/s data rates. The mobile packet data service uses the 'always on' technology, where users are charged only for the data that they send and receive, not for the connectivity time.

Launched in April 2002, the Swift64 service is already used in over 100 aircraft, including the Boeing 747, 767, 757, Gulfstream GV, GIV, Falcon F900, Bombardier DHC-8, BBJ and Global Express.

The company added that governments and business markets are currently using its service worldwide, with a growing interest in the Middle East region.

"Swift64 is a significant step towards extending high-bandwidth services to aircraft passengers, and gives a 27 fold performance increase over many PC data services available in aircraft today. Our service can be used on all of the world's most frequented long-distance air routes," adds Tudge.

Inmarsat is currently developing it's fourth generation of satellites which offer higher bandwidth. It is scheduled to be launched in 2005.

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