ZTE completes first in-flight broadband test

26 March 2013 | Mitch Sayers

ZTE has today claimed it has completed the first commercial ground to air frequency division duplexing (FDD)-LTE-based broadband network test.

With the transmitter and receiver operating at different carrier frequencies, the airborne connection was a world first, according to ZTE, and testers were able to connect to the internet for 70 minutes during the two-hour February flight.

Real-time video conferencing, instant messaging, micro blogging, email, online gaming and payments were all conducted during the test at downlink and uplink speeds which worked at more than 12Mbps.

ZTE Vice President Xu Ming said: “As the world’s-first ground-air broadband solution provider, ZTE offers a stable, secure and speedy ground-air broadband network for airplanes.

“This allows passengers to enjoy mobile Internet with Wi-Fi-enabled electronic devices and have a more satisfying in-flight experience.”

The system is designed to provide wireless broadband data transmission channels at a rate of higher than 30-60Mbps on planes flying at various altitudes. The service, which is based on advanced FDD-LTE 4G network technology, allows passengers to access the Internet via a cabin WLAN.