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article imageInmarsat launch will boost in-flight WiFi

By Tim Sandle     Jun 29, 2017 in Internet
London - Inmarsat's European short-haul WiFi satellite launched this week on-board a spacecraft. The aim is to boost in-flight WiFi and address what many travelers see as a poor service.
The idea behind the launch is that aircraft passengers will be able to connect to the Internet through the spacecraft or via a connected system of cell towers on the ground. The idea behind the project comes from the British company Inmarsat, which has worked with Deutsche Telekom of Germany. The two systems lead to what is called the European Aviation Network. The European Aviation Network combines high capacity satellite coverage with a complementary 4G LTE ground network to provide high-speed connectivity across all 28 European Union states. This involves multi-beam S-band satellite with approximately 300 Deutsche Telekom ground towers.
How the system will operate is outlined in the following video:
The new network is designed the network to deliver in excess of 50Gbps capacity, with the intention that consumers will enjoy a reliable high bandwidth broadband service in the air that matches what is expected these days on the ground.
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For the technology to work the companies behind the project need to work with major airlines since an antenna is needed on the top of an aircraft to connect upwards to space. The group have signed an agreement with the IAG Group (which includes brands like Aer Lingus, British Airways, Iberia and Vueling) .
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Rupert Pearce, the CEO of Inmarsat told the BBC: "The short-haul market is growing twice as fast as in North America in terms of planes and passenger journeys, and it's set to become the largest short-haul aviation market in the world. Only briefly because I think China will over take it. China are going to build 50 airports in the next five years, so it's very hard to compete with them; but absent that, the European opportunity is very exciting."
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