Yahsat demonstrates 50Mbps inflight connectivity aboard Etihad Airways A320
Yahsat, the UAE based satellite operator, announced the successful trial of a 50Mbps in-flight connection that will change the way passengers experience air travel across the world. The result of a unique partnership between Yahsat, du, Etihad Airways Engineering, Hughes Network Systems and Carlisle Interconnect, the high-speed broadband offering will be available for airlines to offer its passengers within the next year.
Using Yahsat’s Al Yah 2 satellite, and the latest generation Ka-band technology, the test took place in Abu Dhabi, simulating the environment found on an Airbus A320 aircraft. This new level of performance for in-flight connectivity will mean passengers have an in-flight browsing experience similar to the service available in their home or office, including access to HD streaming content, social media, online shopping and the ability to connect with friends and family via messaging applications.
Following this successful test, selected guests will be invited to experience the ultra-fast connectivity for themselves, onboard an Etihad Airways flying testbed Airbus A320 aircraft. Subsequently, Yahsat and its partners plan to execute the key next steps over the coming year to rollout the solution to commercial airliners across the Middle East, and beyond.
Masood M Sharif Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer of Yahsat said, “We are incredibly proud to have brought together leading Emirati and global companies to achieve this milestone. It paves the way for Yahsat to bring further breakthrough technologies to the markets and segments it serves, adding another key pillar to Yahsat’s portfolio of market leading services and solutions.”
Abdul Khaliq Saeed, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways Engineering, said, “This is a first for commercial aviation and Etihad Airways Engineering is delighted to be part of this exciting and challenging project. Innovation is part of the DNA here in the UAE, with local companies, always looking to push the boundaries for the benefit of consumers. This latest initiative with Yahsat and du will ensure today’s travellers will enjoy the high-speed connectivity they already experience on the ground.”
Saleem Al Blooshi, Chief Infrastructure Officer at du said, “We are introducing our state of the art data analytics as well as our backend systems to this innovative In-Flight WiFi which enables the airline industry to use such analytics of the user behaviour to enhance even further the customer experiences on board airplanes.”
Yahsat provides multipurpose satellite solutions for broadband, broadcast, government, and communications use across the Middle East, Africa, and Europe in addition to Central and South West Asia. Based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, it is wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company, the investment vehicle of the Government of Abu Dhabi.
Etihad Aviation Group is a diversified global aviation and travel group comprising five business divisions – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways Engineering, Etihad Airport Services, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners.