In Science and Space: Intelsat announced on August 11 that it has entered into a global distribution agreement with OneWeb to provide airlines with multi-track in-flight connectivity solutions.
Both companies expect to be able to offer multi-orbit services by 2024.
The deal will allow Intelsat, which currently uses geostationary orbit (GEO) satellites to connect passengers, to also offer a Low Earth Orbit (LEO) solution after OneWeb deploys the final third of the constellation. will be
LEO satellites can provide GEO broadband with lower latency than satellites farther from Earth. OneWeb’s network of polar orbits covers a wider area than the fixed GEO satellites along the equator.
Intelsat spokesman Clay McConnell said the company’s hybrid in-flight connectivity solution will use electronically controlled antennas announced last month. Installed at a height of 90 mm in the fuselage of the aircraft, the terminal is designed to automatically switch between GEO and satellites in other orbits.
“Routing his algorithms behind the modems make switching decisions based on which system currently provides the best connectivity for the aircraft at that location,” he said. “This algorithm is based on years of experience with Intelsat [onboard connectivity] and bases routing decisions on complex service structures.”
The terminal is based on Ball Aerospace’s antenna technology and uses Stellar Blu Solutions’ integrated design and hardware. Intelsat expects the antenna to be installed on his CRJ-700 regional aircraft for the first time in late 2022, ahead of installation on the product about a year later.
OneWeb said it successfully tested a high-speed service using the company’s LEO network on a Boeing airliner in May, achieving download speeds of 260 Mbit/s and upload speeds of 80 Mbit/s. rice field.