“It's not just about broadband in the back of the aircraft,” he said. “We're looking at applying this to cockpit avionics and maintenance. As the Global Xpress network comes online, you're going to see an explosion of capability that we're going to bring with aviation.”
Under the terms of a 2012 agreement with London-based fleet operator Inmarsat, Honeywell is the exclusive wireless airtime reseller for Global Xpress inflight broadband services for commercial and business aviation.
In addition, Honeywell will exclusively develop, produce and distribute the onboard hardware that will enable users to connect to Global Xpress, a $1.2 billion constellation that comprises three large Boeing-built Ka-band satellites slated for launch in 2013 and 2014 to serve commercial and military markets. Honeywell also has rights to sell Global Xpress hardware to a number of government and military customers.
Together, Honeywell estimates the deal to be worth $2.8 billion in hardware sales and aftermarket services to aircraft manufacturers, airlines and governments over the next 20 years.
“We see a really strong aftermarket demand from those that either have no connectivity or want to increase the speed of their connectivity,” Esposito says, adding that on the government side, Honeywell sees growing interest in high-throughput broadband for unmanned aircraft.
“There is great interest in terms of the high-bandwidth connectivity options this brings,” he says. Honeywell's $491-million acquisition of Atlanta-based EMS Technologies in 2011 brought with it a long history of military satcom technologies and capabilities, Esposito notes. “We're continuing to build on that broad technology history.”