Airbus has launched Airspace Link HBCplus, its new flexible satellite connectivity solution that will be offered as an Supplier Furnished Equipment (SFE) line-fit catalogue option and also for retrofit on all Airbus programmes.
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.
André Schneider, Airbus VP Cabin & Cargo Programme said: “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.”
To this end Airbus has selected connectivity satcom leader Inmarsat as the first MSP, contributing its GX Aviation inflight broadband solution which offers reliable and seamless passenger experience with global coverage and capacity for future growth. Additional MSPs will join the HBCplus offering in due course.
Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “We are honoured that Airbus has chosen Inmarsat as the first Managed Service Provider for this transformative connectivity catalogue solution and is putting its trust in our award-winning GX Aviation service across all of its aircraft programmes. Inmarsat looks forward to working closely with our partners Airbus and SPI to deliver continuous innovation for airlines and their passengers worldwide.”
Meanwhile Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) has been selected as the terminal provider and hardware integrator of ThinKom’s proven antenna technology – targeted for Ka-band services which delivers high data throughput and reliability combined with aircraft fuel savings thanks to the antenna’s lower drag radome.
Matt Smith, CEO, Safran Passenger Innovations, said: “Safran Passenger Innovations is delighted to be selected as the equipment supplier for Airbus’ Airspace Link connectivity solution. We are excited to be a part of the next evolution in the IFC industry by providing the technology for airlines to select the connectivity services most suited to their needs. We look forward to working with Airbus and our partners on this industry-changing endeavour.”
Airspace Link HBCplus thus provides satcom based off-board connectivity for the Airspace Link open ecosystem representing an end-to-end Airbus offer.
This solution, which enables the exchange of data as one seamlessly integrated aircraft system, is ideally positioned to unlock future digital services capacity and demand growth, allowing airlines to deliver a best in class passenger connectivity experience, in an exponentially growing market.