Last week, the UK’s OFCOM began a deliberation into the possibility of the authorisation of the use of ESOMPs to enable in-flight wifi with speeds capable of streaming content from sites such as BBC iPlayer and Netflix.
If the proposed license of a new satellite system is approved, the connections, up to 10 times faster than current in-flight wifi could be available in the air, on the ground within the UK rail networks and on-board ships as soon as 2014.
In the U.S. the FCC have already authorised the use of Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms (Sumps) which are the key to enabling the fast connections on a global scale.
It is unclear, as yet, just how many of the British-owned airlines will actually use the technology, given the inevitability of high costs. Upgrades to equipment would be needed and some airlines are reluctant to commit at this stage, as users on-board may be dismissive of the high prices, preferring to remain connected with the 3 or 4G mobile option.
ARINC, U.S. based industry-leading passenger communications providers offer, under the US regulations, next-generation passenger connectivity solutions for commercial and business jet aircraft with CabinConnect.