Deutsche Telekom and Alcatel-Lucent to launch European Aviation Network
Deutsche Telekom has signed a contract with Alcatel-Lucent for the launch of what is claimed to be the world’s first LTE ground network to communicate with airplanes.
The European Aviation Network (EAN) will also complement satellite services from Inmarsat, and is designed to meet the growing demand for broadband data connectivity on European flights.
The hybrid LTE and satellite network will enable passengers to use their Wifi devices during flights for mobile data services, and is also expected to open up opportunities for airlines to launch tailored data services to their customers.
“For years, flying has been a communications black-out leaving both business and personal travellers alike feeling out of touch when in the air,” said Wilhelm Dresselhaus, CEO of Alcatel-Lucent Germany and head of its Deutsche Telekom sales account.
“We are proud to be an integral technology provider for Deutsche Telekom’s LTE-based ground network effort by adapting our LTE RAN solution to the Inmarsat S-band spectrum. Together, we are able to provider travellers in Europe with high-speed data connectivity in the air.”
Alcatel-Lucent will deploy its radio access network (RAN) technology as well as its IP mobile core.
Inmarsat recently signed a strategic partnership with Deutsche Telekom for the development and commercial roll-out of the EAN with a test flight program set for 2017.
The satellite operator also announced a technology collaboration with Alcatel-Lucent for the support of S-band spectrum in November 2014.