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Image via Inmarsat

 APEX Insight: Inmarsat Aviation president Leo Mondale announced today at APEX EXPO that the initial deployment of GX Aviation has been completed. He also announced Lufthansa will be the first airline customer for GX Aviation, with service beginning next month in a soft launch.

“We’ve been working for the past six years to bring broadband to the aviation world,” said Leo Mondale, president of Inmarsat Aviation at a private press event atop Marina Bay Sands Tuesday night. “It was a massive effort, and thousands of people have contributed to it. Now, the initial deployment of GX Aviation is done.”

Mondale announced that Lufthansa will be the first airline customer for GX Aviation, with service beginning next month in a soft launch. “Anyone lucky enough to be on one of the installed A320 aircraft will be able to log on and connect,” he said.

GX Aviation utilizes Inmarsat’s Global Xpress constellation of three advanced Ka-band satellites, all combining to provide global high-speed broadband connectivity. “It’s safe to say that hundreds of GX-equipped aircraft will be operational by next year’s APEX EXPO,” said Mondale. He said that in addition to other airlines, a contract had recently been signed with a short- and long-haul European airline to equip more than 125 aircraft.

“It’s safe to say that hundreds of GX-equipped aircraft will be operational by next year’s APEX EXPO.” – Leo Mondale, Inmarsat

Inmarsat has also updated its legacy L-band communications service to provide a secure, two-way flow of IP-based data to the cockpit – a service launched as Swift Broadband–Safety. “It’s L-band, but it’s two generations more recent than the prevailing cockpit communications technology,” explained Mondale. “The new service can deliver a lot more throughput, and do it much more securely.”

The imminent launch of GX Aviation has Mondale excited about Inmarsat’s future. “We are gaining confidence that Inmarsat, as a partner rather than a one-time technology supplier, has a place in this marketplace. We’re not just trying to sell hardware – we are trying to be the partner to carry airlines into the connected age.”

Howard has been passionate about aviation since he was a little kid, and is a pilot who loves to fly gliders and just about anything else with wings. He's a frequent contributor to aviation magazines and blogs.