British satellite communications company, Inmarsat has announced its intention to deliver high-speed, EU-wide in-flight connectivity with a unique integrated telecommunications network including an order for a new s-band satellite, Europasat.
“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 Inmarsat CEO Rupert Pearce.
Inmarsat capabilities already include seamless coverage via Global Xpress and will place them ahead of the competition for in-flight connectivity for passengers.
Widespread interest is being shown by major airlines and passengers could soon be looking forward to the same connectivity that is currently only enjoyed by the business aviation community, with the deployment of Europe’s first 4G broadband network.
Currently, the company are working on shared system to reduce initial costs in partnership with Hellas-Sat, a non-competing European satellite operator and Thales Alenia Space for the construction of a satellite on a shared basis. Europasat will also support the next-gen emergency network services for public protection and disaster relief.
The aviation network deployment, planned for the end of 2016, will be enabled by Inmarsat’s current existing authorisation to operate integrated satellite and terrestrial communications in 30MHz of S-band frequencies spanning the 28 Member States of the European Union. The licensing process has already begun with EU member states and Inmarsat has received strong support for its application from a high number of EU telecommunications regulators. It is hoped that a consistent regulatory foundation can be accomplished quickly in order to facilitate the swift implementation of the services for the benefit of businesses and passengers across the EU.