EAN airline broadband service moves closer to reality

The European Aviation Network (EAN), a hybrid satellite and 4G LTE network built by Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat to serve airlines with in-flight broadband services across Europe, has moved a step closer to full commercial launch with the completion of in-orbit testing of Inmarsat’s S-band satellite.

The six tonne HellasSat 3/Inmarsat-S-EAN (EuropaSat) was launched in June 2017, with part of its mission to deliver Wi-Fi networking services to airline passengers across the 28 European Union (EU) member states.

When fully deployed, the 50Gbps capacity EAN will enable the first in-flight broadband service to use space-based and ground-based networks through the satellite and 300 LTE antennae across Europe, managed by Nokia from its global delivery centre in Romania.

This means that passengers using the service should be able to transfer from the 4G mobile network to the in-flight Wi-Fi at take off, and back to 4G on landing, without noticing a break in service.

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