Deutsche Telekom Group and its partner Inmarsat have delivered a further key infrastructure milestone for the European Aviation Network (EAN), after the project’s Satellite Access Station was successfully tested and validated.
As part of the testing program, engineers performed a combination of photogrammetry, microwave and stability tests to verify the EAN Satellite Access Station’s ability to serve as a gateway between Inmarsat’s S-band satellite, due to launch mid-2017, and the internet. The facility, located near the Greek town of Nemea, is under an agreement with Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiary OTE, the largest telecommunications provider in Greece. It features a 13-metre antenna that provides feeder links to the satellite, a radio frequency sub-system and a radio access network, the latter of which has been provided by Cobham SATCOM.
“The completed Satellite Access Station testing for the European Aviation Network is an important step forward in the development of the European Aviation Network and further demonstrates the enormous progress being made towards a successful launch,” said David Fox, Vice President Inflight Services & Connectivity at Deutsche Telekom. “We are in parallel hard at work to implement the approximately 300 sites of the EAN’s integrated LTE-based ground network across Europe and we truly look forward to launching the service later this year.”
World’s first integrated connectivity solution for aircraft
As the first solution in the world to integrate connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and a LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom, EAN provides a true in-flight broadband experience for millions of airlines passengers travelling across Europe. Aircraft will automatically switch between satellite and ground connectivity using an onboard network communicator for optimal performance. As a result, airlines can offer reliable, high-speed onboard internet to passengers across Europe’s high-traffic flight paths, utilising Inmarsat’s S-band spectrum allocation in all 28 EU member states, Norway and Switzerland. Airline passengers will benefit from an easy-to-use true broadband solution for internet browsing, video streaming, gaming and other online services direct to their personal smart devices.