Thales has announced the launch of its new ‘FlytLIVE’ in-flight connectivity solution. The company has partnered with satellite operator SES to develop the service, which is due to start operating in mid-2017 using two in-orbit satellites.
To meet future demand, SES will procure a third Ka-band high throughput satellite specifically designed for the needs of FlytLIVE and manufactured by Thales Alenia Space.
This new satellite, SES-17, is scheduled to launch in 2020 and will cover North America, South America, Central America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean.
Thales says FlytLIVE will enable passengers to enjoy full in-flight internet services, including video streaming, while airlines will be able to take advantage of a wide range of connectivity-enabled operational tools.
Patrice Caine, Chairman and CEO, Thales Group, said: “Through this partnership with SES, and by leveraging Thales Alenia Space’s expertise, we are developing a satellite uniquely optimised for the fast moving aviation and mobility market. This will enable us to offer airline customers a simple and seamless connectivity solution with unmatched performance.”
Karim Michel Sabbagh, President & CEO, SES, added: “SES-17 is another keystone in our unique satellite architecture and a major milestone in the execution of our strategy to build a differentiated portfolio of high throughput systems for very distinct customer needs.”
The FlytLIVE connectivity solution will enter a highly competitive marketplace in which the likes of ViaSat, Inmarsat, Gogo, Panasonic Avionics, GEE, Rockwell Collins and SITAONAIR are vying for airline customers.