Yahsat, the United Arab Emirates-based satellite operator, today announced the successful trial of a 50 mbps in-flight connection. The result of a partnership between Yahsat, du, Etihad Airways Engineering, Hughes Network Systems and Carlisle Interconnect, the high-speed broadband offering will be available for airlines to offer its passengers within the next year.
Using Yahsat’s Al Yah 2 satellite and the latest generation Ka-band technology, the test took place in Abu Dhabi. It simulated the environment found on an Airbus A320. According to Yahsat, this new level of performance for in-flight connectivity (IFC) means passengers can have an in-flight browsing experience similar to the service available in their home or office, including access to high-definition streaming content, social media, online shopping and the ability to connect with friends and family via messaging applications.
Following this successful test, Etihad Airways invites guests to experience the connectivity for themselves onboard a Flying Testbed Airbus A320 aircraft at the Dubai Airshow in mid-November. Subsequently, Yahsat and its partners plan to execute the key next steps over the coming year to roll out the solution to commercial airliners across the Middle East and beyond.
“This partnership will allow us to establish the necessary infrastructure needed to keep passengers comfortably connected in the air through the latest and most advanced IFC. We believe that together we will set the benchmark for high-speed Wi-Fi in the air, and we look forward to enhancing our customer experiences like never before,” said Saleem Al Blooshi, CEO of du. “Furthermore, we are introducing our state-of-the-art data analytics as well as our backend systems to this innovative in-flight Wi-Fi, which enables the airline industry to use such analytics of the user behavior to enhance even further the customer experiences on board airplanes.”
This article was originally reported by Via Satellite, an Avionics sister publication. It has been edited.