Thales and Inmarsat sign Memorandum of Agreement for connectivity

Thales, leader in In-flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC) and Inmarsat, global provider of mobile satellite services, have today signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) to add Thales as a partner in marketing Inmarsat’s connectivity solutions to the commercial aviation market.

Inmarsat Aviation provides the ultimate in connectivity for a consistent global experience for the whole aircraft, from safety communications to high-speed broadband and live TV in the cabin. It’s wholly owned and operated satellite constellations and ground networks are designed and purpose-built for mobile assets, such as aircraft. SwiftBroadband currently delivers consistent global coverage through its constellation of four L-band satellites, including Alphasat, launched in July 2013, which is the most advanced L-band mobile communications satellite ever deployed. In 2015, when GX Aviation enters service, airlines will have access to the only global Ka-band network. GX will bring a new dawn in aircraft connectivity, providing high speed broadband connectivity for all user requirements throughout the flight.

Under the MOA, SwiftBroadband and GX Aviation are the primary and preferred satellite services for Thales’s industry-leading TopSeries IFEC system. Thales will work with Inmarsat and its Value Added Resellers to deliver the full breadth of GSM and Internet services to airlines and their passengers.

Commenting on this strategic direction, Dominique Giannoni, CEO of Thales’s In-Flight Entertainment and Connectivity (IFEC), said, “In today’s world, passengers are no longer prepared to remain out of communications for the duration of a whole flight and it is up to global organisations, such as Thales and Inmarsat, to ensure that airlines are able to provide customers with fast, reliable and above all, safe connectivity. In addition, this communications channel will allow access to larger amounts of content from the Thales TopSeries IFEC system and/or the passengers’ own devices. The ultimate aim of this agreement is to achieve today in the airline market, what network operators and mobile phone manufacturers achieved a decade ago by making passengers and systems connected anytime, anywhere.”

In-flight connectivity is fast becoming a very important aspect of the passenger experience and, increasingly, it is being demanded by airlines. The partnership between Thales and Inmarsat, leaders in their respective fields of equipment integration and network provision, ensures commercial aviation has the very best IFEC solution available.

“Inmarsat invests billions of dollars in delivering high-speed mobile satellite services. As a result, SwiftBroadband and GX Aviation complement each other perfectly, covering the full range of airlines’ connectivity needs both now and in the future,” said Miranda Mills, President, Aviation, Inmarsat. “We already provide satcom solutions to more than 15,000 aircraft. Working with Thales, we will extend our reach further, bringing the benefits of our scalable global networks to more and more airlines around the world.”

For further information

Giaime Porcu
T: +33 (0)1 57 77 9218
United States
Lori Montalbano – Krans
T: +1 949-923-0976
Global media contact for Inmarsat:
Jonathan Sinnatt
Head of Corporate Communications
T: + 44 (0)207 728 1935
Aviation media contact for Inmarsat:
Charlie Pryor
Leidar for Inmarsat
T: +44 (0)7958 975 667

About Thales

Thales is a global technology leader for the Aerospace, Transportation and Defence & Security markets. In 2012, the company generated revenues of €14.2 billion with 65,000 employees in 56 countries. With its 25,000 engineers and researchers, Thales has a unique capability to design, develop and deploy equipment, systems and services that meet the most complex security requirements. Thales has an exceptional international footprint, with operations around the world working with customers and local partners.

For more information on Thales IFEC please visit

About Inmarsat

Inmarsat plc is the leading provider of global mobile satellite communications services. Since 1979, Inmarsat has been providing reliable voice and high-speed data communications to governments, enterprises and other organizations, with a range of services that can be used on land, at sea or in the air. Inmarsat employs around 1,600 staff in more than 60 locations around the world, with a presence in the major ports and centres of commerce on every continent. Inmarsat is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE:ISAT.L).