European aviation network edges closer to take-off

Plans for Europe’s first major aviation network aimed at delivering broadband services to aircraft passengers are further underway, following a partnership between Inmarsat and Alcatel-Lucent.

The network is scheduled for commercial service by the end of 2016 and could position Europe at the forefront of passenger aviation connectivity.

It claims to be the world’s first hybrid aviation network consisting of an S-band satellite (Europasat), constructed by Thales Alenia Space, and a Europe-wide S-band ground network.

Over this network will run LTE technology that claims to offer airlines broadband speeds of up to 75Mbps.

Alcatel-Lucent and Inmarsat will work together to develop the ground infrastructure component of the EU-wide network.

“Innovation is a core element of our strategy, along with growth enabled by diversification into new, vertical areas where we can apply our technology leadership. The air-to-ground technology partnership with Inmarsat brings Alcatel-Lucent’s proven leadership and commitment to innovation to providing ultra-broadband communications services to the aviation market,” said Michel Combes, CEO at Alcatel-Lucent.

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