Global mobile satellite communications services provider Inmarsat has launched SBTV, a platform that enables airlines to provide real-time and updated on-demand entertainment content to passengers’ own devices. News, sports and other video content is transmitted to the aircraft over the SwiftBroadband network and then distributed wirelessly to passengers’ own devices, which can include smartphones, laptops, tablets and other personal media players.
David Coiley, Inmarsat Vice President, Aviation, said that SBTV has been designed to reflect the way TV content is now consumed by people on the ground, enabling more viewer choice thanks to the ability to consume on-demand content on PCs, tablets and smartphones. “SBTV provides an opportunity for airlines to leapfrog the limitations of rolling broadcast news services by allowing passengers on-demand access to the latest news and sports programming on their own, to choose what they watch and when they watch it,” he explained.
SBTV enables airlines to select and tailor the volume and variety of content they offer their passengers, uniquely enabling customisation for specific routes or regions, providing a strong product differentiation opportunity. Content can be uploaded live, and updated as often as the airline chooses. SBTV can be deployed quickly, at low cost to the airline, and may be integrated on existing WiFi or IFE systems.
Coiley noted that with the introduction of GX Aviation in early 2015, GXTV would become available, further increasing the volume and range of real-time content that could be made available, delivering the ultimate solution for customised TV content delivery, including the ability to provide multiple broadcast IPTV channels.
Over 11,000 commercial and non-commercial aircraft currently rely on Inmarsat services. More than 24 leading airlines around the world have selected Inmarsat technology for inflight connectivity, including British Airways, Emirates, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Singapore Airlines, and TAM Airlines. More than half of the world’s A380 fleet is equipped with Inmarsat SwiftBroadband.