Connexion by Boeing
and Rockwell Collins today announced a strategic agreement that will provide new high-speed connectivity solutions for the corporate aviation market. Unveiled at the National Business Aviation Association conference in Orlando, the new service, “Collins eXchange,” will combine the robust, real-time communications capabilities of the Connexion by Boeing broadband network with Rockwell Collins’ extensive experience in business aviation.
While specific terms of the agreement were not announced, Connexion by Boeing will provide the enabling technology that provides two-way high-speed connectivity and manage the network and satellite assets, while Rockwell Collins will provide and install the antenna, manage the airborne system installation, vendor relations and customer-facing activities including marketing and sales. Connexion by Boeing will manage sales and marketing to government customers.
Potential platforms include super mid-size and larger aircraft. The Connexion by Boeing service is already in use in the United States on executive jet platforms the size of a Boeing 737 and larger.
“We are pleased to bring our shared vision for high-speed connectivity to the business aviation marketplace in conjunction with Rockwell Collins,” said Connexion by Boeing Vice President of Business Strategy Sean Schwinn. “Business leaders today have an increasing need to be aware of world events as they unfold and a way to respond if necessary. Working together, we will address that need with a technology-based solution that provides the tools necessary to be both informed and productive in flight.”
Installation of the Collins eXchange systems are expected to begin in mid-2004 for commencement of service in early 2005 with service availability on a majority of the global routes flown by business operators. The service will use the same satellite assets and network operations center used by the Connexion by Boeing service for the commercial airline market.
“In today’s data-rich environment, people want the same access to information and entertainment while onboard an aircraft as they have on the ground,” said Bob Chiusano, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Rockwell Collins Commercial Systems. “Rockwell Collins’ aircraft technology matched with Boeing’s broadband leadership provides an ideal solution.”
Corporate aviation operators and their passengers can use Collins eXchange to access the Internet and firewall-protected corporate intranets, send outgoing emails or open large attachments from incoming emails; get the news, weather or destination information; or view direct broadcast television programming. The service will also enhance air-to-ground communications for flight crew personnel.