Inmarsat to Offer EU-Wide In-Flight Internet Services
Inmarsat, a British satellite telecommunications company that provides mobile voice and data services, announced plans Thursday to build a combined satellite/air-to-ground network that will support high-speed in-flight Internet across the European Union.
The satellite is expected to be delivered for launch towards the end of 2016, so the new in-flight Internet services will begin to appear in 2017. British Airway is reportedly in talks to become the launch customer.
The airline said it plans to offer the service on domestic routes within the United Kingdom.
The new network, called Europasat, will deliver high-speed Internet through its new S-band satellite. The service will complement Inmarsat’s Global Xpress service, which offers wireless Internet access through Ka-band satellites.
“We believe that the same in-flight connectivity opportunity exists in Europe and that, with the support of EU telecoms regulators, Inmarsat can rapidly bring to market unique, high speed aviation passenger connectivity services to meet this market demand on an EU-wide basis,” said Rupert Pierce, Inmarsat’s CEO.
Inmarsat says that the Europasat system will also be used to support emergency network services for public protection and disaster relief.
(Photo: Accura Media Group)