An announcement has been made confirming the partnership between British satellite operator, Inmarsat and US-based Honeywell Aerospace.
This will see the two united in the effort to bring Wi-Fi access to airline passengers – under the guise of Project Global Xpress.
If it proves successful, plane enthusiasts might soon be able to use aviation apps for iPhone or other devices while actually airborne.
Inmarsat and Honeywell are to combine their resources in order to offer worldwide internet services on transatlantic flights. According to smartplanet.com, this means passengers could receive emails, connect to social networks or even conduct video conferences.
Inmarsat’s $1.2 billion investment will generate three satellites – the first to be launched next year – while Honeywell’s $2.8 billion will provide the required hardware and maintenance necessary for the service to be available to passengers in 2014.
Bbc.co.uk did point out that in-flight internet is nothing new, having already been taken up by Boeing. Other airlines were said to have been keen in Boeing’s project, but interest had waned in the wake of 9/11 and it came to an end in 2006.
Over the last few years, however, the concept has regained its popularity; driven ‘by the explosion in mobile devices to always stay online’.
Global Xpress aims to provide fast data rates, allowing for quick and reliable connections. Inmarsat’s Leo Mondale stated: “We’re flying three satellites, with the first one going up next year, that will provide global coverage in a frequency band called Ka.
“These higher frequencies will enable real broadband communications to and from an aeroplane, higher speeds and cheaper prices that we think will fit with the expectations of the market.”