Ofcom agree to license provider for in-flight wi-fi
Oct 13th 2017, 14:13 by Charlotte Whyatt
Regulatory board Ofcom have agreed to grant British satellite firm Inmarsat a license to use UK masts in its European Aviation Network (EAN) which will be able to deliver high-speed wi-fi on-board a large number of European aircraft.
Around 300 satellite masts will be needed to complete to complete the EAN, which is currently being built by one of Germany's largest telecommunication companies Deutsche Telekom.
It will be the first of its kind to use a combination of satellite and a ground-based 4G network in order to deliver what Inmarsat is calling a "seamless wi-fi experience" for all passengers.
The satellite was created by Franco-Italian aerospace manufacturer Thales Alenia Space and was launched from the area of the country known as French Guiana back in June 2017.
According to Ofcom's latest release, each singular mast will have a range of between 80 to 150km.
The International Airlines Group (IAG), which serves as the parent company of such major European airlines as British Airways, Aer Lingus which serves as Ireland's second largest carrier and Spain's Iberia and Vueling, will begin offering wi-fi services onboard its aircraft from 2018.
"We are giving our customers the fastest connectivity you can get on any aircraft," said Willie Walsh, the chief executive of IAG. "Connectivity is essential because it's what our customers demand and IAG will be the first European airline group to offer high-quality wi-fi on short-haul flights.”
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