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Sat 14 Nov 2015 01:45 AM

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UAE's Yahsat works with Etihad to develop inflight connectivity

Satellite operator says collaboration will see trial of inflight high-speed connectivity via Ka-band

UAE's Yahsat works with Etihad to develop inflight connectivity

Yahsat, the UAE-based satellite operator, has announced plans to test high speed inflight satellite connectivity using an Etihad Airways A320 aircraft.

The collaboration will allow both UAE companies to work together to trial inflight high-speed satellite connectivity via Ka-band on a test aircraft, a statement said.

Yahsat, which is a wholly owned unit of the Mubadala Development Company, said its Ka-band capacity provides higher speeds and cheaper rates compared to legacy inflight connectivity systems based on Ku-band.

As airlines continue to explore ways to enhance the passenger experience, high-speed inflight connectivity is increasingly becoming a critical differentiator. With Ka-band solutions, speeds of up to 50 mbps to the plane are commonplace, allowing passengers to have the necessary bandwidth to stream video and enable applications such as video conferencing.

Masood Sharif Mahmood, Yahsat CEO said: "The testing of the new satellite connectivity is a key step for Yahsat as it signifies the beginning of our journey towards expanding into a growing global market segment (in-flight connectivity).

"We are delighted to be working with one of the UAE's major success stories, Etihad Airways."

Jeff Wilkinson Etihad's senior vice president - technical added: "With testing and validation of Yahsat's new connectivity system on-board one of our Airbus 320 we offer unparalleled possibilities to capitalise on our relationship with Yahsat.

"We are excited to welcome Yahsat on board, to test the future of high speed inflight satellite connectivity with them."

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