Press Release
Press Release



OnAir to use Thales satellite communications system to access Inmarsat mobile broadband services
OnAir to use Thales satellite communications system to access Inmarsat mobile broadband services
Hamburg - September 20, 2005


OnAir, the inflight passenger communications company, today announced the selection of Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband service and Thales’ satellite communications system to support its airline passenger voice and data communication.

The service will use Inmarsat’s new fourth generation of satellites, the I-4s, and will be operational for inflight GSM mobile phone voice and data services, initially on European short-haul flights in the second half of 2006. At the same time, Airbus, which is developing the airborne equipment for OnAir, has selected Thales to provide the onboard SwiftBroadband satellite communications system and antenna. The antenna is manufactured by EMS Satcom.

Lars Ringertz, Head of Marketing, Aeronautical Business, Inmarsat, said, “Inmarsat is delighted at this endorsement by OnAir of the SwiftBroadband solution. It’s a clear vote of confidence in the benefits which this will bring to OnAir and its customers.”

SwiftBroadband is a scaleable solution offering voice and broadband data connectivity, which will include support for voice and SMS on GSM mobile phones and data on devices such as the BlackBerry or laptop computers. George Cooper, OnAir CEO, said, “OnAir is very pleased to welcome Inmarsat and Thales as partners in bringing an exciting new generation of avionics technology to the market. SwiftBroadband is a global solution that will allow airlines and OnAir, to offer a consistent passenger experience on both short and long-haul flights at competitive rates.”

The Thales satellite communication system is part of a newly developed range of lightweight compact avionics equipment pioneered exclusively by Thales and EMS to enable broadband capability on any aircraft, including the smaller short-haul and regional aircraft types.

The overall OnAir broadband satellite communications system can be utilised for other functions apart from inflight passenger voice and data communication, such as aircraft systems monitoring, maintenance and managing inflight entertainment content.