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Inmarsat and DT to create a combined satellite and ground network

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Staff writer ▼ | September 21, 2015
Inmarsat said it had joined forces with Deutsche Telecom to create a combined satellite and ground network to provide European travellers with internet connections.
Airplane internet
Airline   Lufthansa passengers to use internet on European flights next summer
The air and ground network would operate on the same frequency band, developed and run by Deutsche Telekom and has been designed to meet the growing needs of passengers travelling across Europe, which includes some of the highest density air-traffic routes in the world, Inmarsat said.

"It provides a long-term solution with abundant capacity, speed and coverage to equal an at-home high-speed broadband customer experience while aboard an airplane," the company said.

"With this integrated network we can meet the need for capacity, flexibility and quality of service, including the ability to expand quickly to anticipate growth in demand," said Rupert Pearce, Inmarsat's CEO.

"The integrated satellite and complementary LTE-based ground network will ensure that Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom together deliver the fastest, best and most consistent in-flight broadband experience that meets the needs of airlines in this region. Combined with our global GX (Ka-band) and L-band services, we now have connectivity solutions for the cockpit and the cabin of any type of aircraft, flying in any geography."

The European Aviation Network consists of the Inmarsat S-band satellite which is custom-designed to offer services across all 28 EU states.

It will be combined on the ground with a mobile broadband network of approximately 300 4G sites which Deutsche Telekom will build and manage. The LTE sites will have a range of more than 80km, will be modified to transmit data to the operating altitude and speeds of passenger aircraft.

Lufthansa passengers will be able to use the internet on European flights next summer as part of a collaboration with satellite communications firm Inmarsat.

The airline will use Inmarsat's Global Xpress satellite-based broadband service on board its European flights. No financial details were given.

Inmarsat said it was on schedule to offer global commercial service by the end of 2015, with three Global Xpress Ka-band satellites now launched.