Europe-Wide Airline Internet Service Set To Launch

February 5, 2018

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The European Aviation Network (EAN), a Europe-wide communications network for airline passengers, is undergoing final testing and will launch during the first half of the year.

EAN, a joint project between international satellite company Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom, will be powered by an S-band satellite and a 300 base station Europe-wide LTE ground network. The base stations are located in all 28 EU member states plus Switzerland and Norway,

The network will initially provide aircraft connectivity of 75 Mbit/s, faster than many country’s terrestrial broadband speeds. It will allow airline passengers to use social media and stream high-bandwidth content while airborne.

The company said airlines will be able to install the light-weight EAN equipment quickly, typically during overnight downtime for aircraft.

“EAN is the world’s first dedicated aviation connectivity solution which effectively combines space and ground-based components,” Inmarsat Aviation senior VP Frederik van Essen said. “Bringing connectivity to the skies is a complex effort and we could only realise this through strategic collaboration with our European partners.”

British Airways and Iberia owner IAG is the launch customer for the new service and has already started installing EAN equipment on its aircraft.