[Via Satellite 09-21-2015] Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom have formed a strategic partnership to develop a hybrid terrestrial-satellite In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) system called the European Aviation Network. The system will employ 300 LTE sites across Europe combined with a new S-band satellite from Inmarsat.
Last year Inmarsat announced a joint satellite with Hellas Sat, with its half called Europasat, that will use the company’s 30 MHz of S-band spectrum allocation across the European Union (EU). The LTE sites will have a range of more than 80 km, compared to the 10 km or less range of conventional LTE sites. Once an aircraft has reached 10,000ft, Deutsche Telekom’s Air-to-Ground (ATG) network will be combined with satellite connectivity.
Lufthansa will be the first European hub airline to use the network, starting with satellite service in 2016 and progressing to a flight trial program of the European Aviation Network from 2017 onwards.
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