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Satellite constructed on schedule for ‘ground-breaking’ European Aviation Network. Europe moves a step closer to offering air travellers the most powerful broadband experience in the sky after first-of-its-kind connectivity network achieves key milestone.

Deutsche Telekom's EAN partner Inmarsat has delivered a key EAN milestone this week as it completed construction and associated sub-system tests of the satellite for the market-changing European Aviation Network (EAN) in-flight connectivity solution on schedule with Thales Alenia Space.

Ready for flight in 2017

The milestone was achieved on schedule following an extensive two-year build process in Toulouse and Cannes, France. The completed S-band payload module was shipped in early July to Thales Alenia Space’s testing center in Cannes, where satellite integration (‘mating’) was also successfully completed. The satellite is now undergoing rigorous system end-to-end testing before it is declared ready for flight in 2017.

EAN is the world’s first integrated satellite and air-to-ground network dedicated to providing a true in-flight broadband experience for Europe’s aviation industry and for millions of passengers who have been cut-off from fast, reliable and consistent broadband access during their flights.

Inmarsat partner DT

The satellite has been custom-designed to provide mobile satellite services (MSS) to aircraft flying over the dense European routes, exploiting Inmarsat’s 30MHz (2 x 15MHz) S-band spectrum allocation in all 28 EU member states, plus Norway and Switzerland. It will be integrated with a LTE-based ground network covering approximately 300 sites, operated by Deutsche Telekom. Aircraft will switch automatically between satellite and terrestrial connectivity using an on--board network communicator for optimal service delivery.

Global technology innovation

Leo Mondale, President of Inmarsat Aviation, said: “The on-time construction of our multi-beam satellite, as well as Deutsche Telekom’s ground network of approximately 300 new LTE sites across Europe, highlights the rapid progress we are making with the European Aviation Network. The coming together of Inmarsat and market-leaders across Europe, including Thales, Deutsche Telekom, Nokia, Cobham SATCOM and OTE, on this ground-breaking development will strengthen Europe’s position as a global technology innovator and support the continued growth of its aviation industry.”

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