Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom, together with their technology partners Nokia and Thales, have successfully conducted a programme of test flights in the UK for the new European Aviation Network (EAN).
EAN is an integrated satellite and air-to-ground network dedicated to providing an in-flight broadband experience for airlines and their passengers flying across Europe. It is planned for introduction in mid-2017.
The first flights served to test the performance of the EAN system, including the onboard equipment being provided by Thales and the ground network provided by Deutsche Telekom and Nokia. As a precursor to the test flight series, Deutsche Telekom and Nokia jointly achieved the first EAN live over-the-air connection, in Nokia’s Stuttgart laboratory.
All components of the LTE ground network were then thoroughly tested and validated and the first live connection in the field was accomplished in a broadband video conference with both parties connected via the dedicated EAN LTE mobile network.
Claudia Nemat, Board Member Europe and Technology at Deutsche Telekom, said: “We are happy that we achieved a major milestone in building the European Aviation Network. The EAN allows us to offer our customers outstanding connectivity services not only on the ground but also in the sky. The new technology based on LTE standard makes sure that EAN is flexible for any further technology developments in the future. Deutsche Telekom’s aim is to drive technology leadership to bring best network experience to our customers.”
Leo Mondale, President of Aviation, Inmarsat added: “EAN is progressing extremely well, both on the ground as well as in the air, to achieve the world’s first integrated service providing true in-flight broadband experience. The actual performance and quality of the in-flight datalink exceeds design expectations and is truly game changing for European airlines.”