High-speed inflight WiFi steps closer to reality after 50MBps test in Abu Dhabi

Solution tested on A320 could enable real-time broadband access onboard by the end of 2018
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To be called Wi-Fly once it is made available on Etihad flights near the end of 2018, the service will deliver none of the slow access speeds that traditional inflight WiFi has been hampered with, according to Etihad Airways Engineering CEO, Abdul Khaliq Saeed.
To be called Wi-Fly once it is made available on Etihad flights near the end of 2018, the service will deliver none of the slow access speeds that traditional inflight WiFi has been hampered with, according to Etihad Airways Engineering CEO, Abdul Khaliq Saeed.

UAE based satellite operator, Yahsat, has tested a 50Mbps in-flight connection that it says will be available for airlines to offer passengers next year, and will allow passengers onboard to stram HD content as well as access social media in real-time.

The result of a partnership between Yahsat, du, Etihad Airways Engineering, Hughes Network Systems and Carlisle Interconnect, the high-speed broadbandtest took place in Abu Dhabi last month, simulating the environment found on an Airbus A320 aircraft with Yahsat’s Ka-band enabled Al Yah 2 satellite.

To be called Wi-Fly once it is made available on Etihad flights near the end of 2018, the service will deliver none of the slow access speeds that traditional inflight WiFi has been hampered with, according to Etihad Airways Engineering CEO, Abdul Khaliq Saeed.

“This is a first for commercial aviation. This latest initiative with Yahsat and du will ensure today’s travellers will enjoy the high-speed connectivity they already experience on the ground,” says Saeed.

Guests at the Dubai Airshow will be invited to experience the ultra- fast connectivity for themselves, onboard an Etihad Airways Flying Testbed Airbus A320 aircraft from 12-16 November.

“We are incredibly proud to have brought together leading Emirati and global companies to achieve this milestone,” says Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, CEO, Yahsat. “We look forward to showcasing the technology at the Dubai Airshow, and ultimately transforming the in-flight connectivity experience for passengers.”

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