|Qantas has selected ViaSat as its connectivity provider for domestic flights. Photo: Qantas
[Avionics Today 02-23-2016] ViaSat has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) agreement with Qantas Airways, Australia's largest domestic and international airline, to provide In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) to Qantas passengers on its domestic flights. The agreement with Qantas represents the broadband company's first Asia-Pacific airline to select its in-flight Internet service, as well as the first airline in the region to choose its single, hybrid Ku/Ka-band antenna.
The new service expects to feature speeds that are up to 10 times faster than traditional global ground-based in-flight Internet services and access streaming video. Additionally, by using ViaSat's hybrid Ku/Ka band antenna, the Internet service will operate across both ViaSat's global Ku-band network and nbn's Sky Muster high-capacity Ka-band satellites.
Under the terms of the MOU, in-flight Internet trials will begin in late 2016 on Qantas Boeing 737 aircraft. A full roll-out across the Qantas domestic fleet of A330s and Boeing 737s is planned to begin in 2017, with aircraft to be outfitted with in-cabin Wi-Fi hotspots, an Internet modem and ViaSat's satellite antenna and radome technology.