A 50Mbps in-flight connection has been successfully trialled in Abu Dhabi, paving the way for unprecedented highspeed broadband connectivity on flights, according to UAE-based satellite provider Yahsat.
The test, which used Yahsat’s Al Yah 2 satellite and sophisticated Ka-band technology, took place in Abu Dhabi, in an environment simulating that found onboard on Airbus A320 aircraft.
According to Yahsat, wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company, the new level of performance means that aircraft passengers will be able to browse the internet at speeds similar to that which they experience at home or in their offices, including access to HD streaming content and social media.
The project is the result of a partnership between Yahsat, Etihad and du, as well as Hughes Network Systems and Carlisle Interconnect.
Following the test, selected guests will be invited to try the broadband connection on board an Etihad Flying Testbed A320 aircraft at the upcoming Dubai Airshow.
Afterwards, Yahsat said it will roll-out the service on commercial airliners across the region over the course of one year.
“This is a first for commercial aviation,” said Abdul Khaliq Saeed, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways Engineering. “Innovation is part of the DNA here in the UAE, with local companies, always looking to push the boundaries for the benefit of consumers. Our country is known as an incubator to generate new commercial ideas, and this latest initiative with Yahsat and du will ensure today’s travellers will enjoy the high-speed connectivity they already experience on the ground.”
Saleem Al Blooshi, du’s Chief Infrastructure Officer, said the test was a “monumental step in aviation history.”
“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 in-flight connectivity,” he said. “We believe that together we will set the benchmark for high speed WiFi in the air and we look forward to enhancing our customer experiences like never before.”For all the latest tech news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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