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In October, Hughes launched a full suite of aeronautical mobility features and capabilities for the award-winning JUPITERTM System to enable service providers to deliver industry-leading, high-performance broadband services to airline passengers.
“This new platform represents a significant advance in satellite- based mobility connectivity, extending the capabilities of our JUPITER System—the mostly widely deployed HTS system in the world—to deliver high-performance mobility services across both HTS and conventional satellites,” said Paul Gaske, executive vice president for Hughes. “Fully compatible with wide beam Ku-band and spot beam Ka-band satellite capacity, it positions mobility service providers to reliably and cost-effectively meet the continually growing demands of their customers to stay connected with high-speed Internet access virtually anywhere.”
The Hughes HT Aero Modem, including the core router module and JUPITER mobility technology, features the JUPITER System second-generation System on a Chip (SoC) that supports 200 Mbps of throughput, readily accommodating the highest demands for aeronautical broadband. Designed specifically for the aviation broadband industry, it also supports faster and seamless beam switchover, within a satellite or between satellites, to ensure that users enjoy superior broadband service on a global basis. Compared to Hughes prior generation mobility terminal, the new HT modem delivers more than a tenfold increase in throughput performance to an individual aircraft.
Concurrent to the launch, Hughes also announced an agreement with Global Eagle Entertainment (GEE), a worldwide provider of aircraft connectivity systems, operations solutions, and media content to the travel industry. GEE will utilize the Hughes JUPITER System HT Aero Modem to power its next-generation, high-performance broadband aeronautical service. The modem is DO160 compliant and is compatible with GEE’s current antenna system, enabling easy and cost-effective upgrade to improve speeds for GEE’s current connected fleet of nearly 700 aircraft.
“Hughes and GEE have been partners for nearly a decade,” said Gaske. “We believe GEE’s adoption of our latest technology will greatly facilitate its continued leadership in the industry, and the ability to easily retrofit this platform into its large existing fleet of customer aircraft will be a huge benefit to both GEE and its customers.”
In a recent article featured in Via Satellite’s online magazine, Satellite Today, Aditya Chatterjee, chief technical officer at GEE, noted that the company did not originally anticipate delivering such speed and reliability in flight until 2018.
“When Hughes actually started on this technology a couple of years ago, they were aiming for the next generation, but last year we felt that it would be nice if we can skip a generation and could introduce what we planned for 2018 in 2016. That’s what we did. This is indeed the next generation and this is, technically speaking, one generation ahead,” Chatterjee explained.
“The new modem can provide enough streaming power to satisfy a plane full of people. Narrow-body planes have fewer than 200 people. Wide-body planes would have more than 600. For a wide-body, you may have to put two of these modems, where in today’s technology, you have to put 10 to achieve the same amount of throughput,” said Chatterjee.
This accelerated release of advanced aeronautical mobility features and capabilities will enable GEE and other service providers to make massive strides in the global inflight connectivity market and continue to improve the passenger experience.