is an IP-based packet-switched satellite communications network that provides a symmetric ‘always-on’ data connection of up to 432kbps per channel for aircraft.
Designed to compete in the business aviation communications market, it has been studied as an approach for Air Traffic Management by Eurocontrol (the pan-European air traffic management organization.
In Standard IP mode, the service is shared with other concurrent users of the system, providing a ‘best effort’
service. SwiftBroadband can also provide a pre-determined quality of service through
Streaming mode. There are 200 spot beams per satellite with each beam supporting up to 90 channels of 432kbps. Three satellites cover the entire globe with the exception of the polar regions.
For Standard IP service, the throughput that an end-user experiences depends on the load on the channel as well as other factors such as antenna type and data compression.
SwiftBroadband uses the narrow spot beams of the Inmarsat-4 (I-4) satellites.
Features of the service include:
Standard IP data – currently up to two channels per aircraft; Up to 432kbps per channel over a high-gain antenna and up to 332kbps over an intermediate gain antenna
Streaming IP data on demand at 32, 64, 128, 256, 384 kbps which can be combined for higher rates; simultaneous voice and high-speed data; packet-switched data (TCP/IP) and ISDN; circuit-switched voice and VoIP
SwiftBroadband avionics are offered by Chelton Satcom (avionics and antennas), Esterline/CMC (antennas), EMS Technologies
EMS Technologies is a subsidiary of Honeywell International which was formerly an independent Atlanta-based company with approximately $290 million in annual sales revenue. EMS-T specializes in wireless, defense, and space communications systems. Founded in 1968 by Dr. John E...
(avionics and antennas), Honeywell (avionics), Rockwell Collins (avionics), TECOM Industries (antennas), Thales (avionics) and Thrane & Thrane (avionics).
In addition to installation of User Terminal avionics, aircraft operators contract with an Inmarsat service provider to provision access to the network. The service provider allows access to the I-4 constellation and charges either for the volume of data used for standard IP, or based on the time used for streaming IP and voice calls.