Inmarsat to deploy Kontron airborne server in EAN air-to-ground connectivity system

AUGSBURG, Germany, 14 April 2016. Engineers at Inmarsat, owner/operator of a global satellite network and provider of mobile/fixed communications services in London, needed robust avionics and electronics equipment for the airborne segment of the new European Aviation Network (EAN). They found their solution at Kontron, a provider of avionics systems for inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) and of embedded computing technology (ECT) in Augsburg, Germany.

Apr 14th, 2016
Inmarsat to deploy Kontron airborne server in EAN air-to-ground connectivity system
Inmarsat to deploy Kontron airborne server in EAN air-to-ground connectivity system

AUGSBURG, Germany, 14 April 2016. Engineers at Inmarsat, owner/operator of a global satellite network and provider of mobile/fixed communications services in London, needed robust avionics and electronics equipment for the airborne segment of the new European Aviation Network (EAN). They found their solution at Kontron, a provider of avionics systems for inflight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) and of embedded computing technology (ECT) in Augsburg, Germany.

Inmarsat’s EAN is the highly anticipated connectivity solution designed specifically to meet the needs of airlines and their passengers across the busy traffic routes of Europe. EAN is delivered through S-band satellite connectivity, combined with a 4G Air-to-Ground (ATG) terrestrial network. This hybrid solution will provide the optimal broadband service to airline passengers and cabin crew over Europe and adjoining airspace.

The ATG is being delivered through a partnership between Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom – global connectivity providers focused on delivering high-speed broadband services to the aviation community.

“The Inmarsat EAN is expected to be a game changer for European airlines, and we are pleased to be part of this exciting program. The Kontron ACE Flight 4608 will be the first 8-core airborne server to be deployed, and Inmarsat will be the initial customer due to their significant processing requirements,” says Jim Vandesteeg, head of avionics business line at Kontron.

Kontron will provide the hardware products necessary to implement the cabin wi-fi network onboard the aircraft, including the company’s ACE Flight 4608 airborne server. The hardware will host Inmarsat’s application software for optimized Internet connectivity and network management. Additional entertainment and operational features are planned as the system is rolled out.

In addition, Inmarsat and Kontron plan to collaborate on future development of next-generation technologies for the IFEC market.

“Inmarsat selected Kontron for the EAN program based on a proven track record in the IFEC market, and its ability to meet Inmarsat’s needs in terms of advanced server processing power,” says Peter Ansbro, vice president aviation service delivery and assurance, Inmarsat. “The fact that Kontron is a well-known, European-based corporation with significant regional footprint and existing relationships is an added benefit.”

Kontron supplies airborne servers, wireless access points, and communication units to the rapidly growing inflight entertainment and connectivity market. There are currently more than 3,500 commercial aircraft and business jets operating worldwide with Kontron equipment on board.

Inmarsat is a provider of global mobile satellite communication services. In addition to the EAN in Europe, Inmarsat is deploying its new Global Xpress (GX) constellation, a Ka-band global satellite solution, which will bring seamless, reliable broadband connectivity to commercial airlines across the world.


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