Being without internet for hours at a time while flying can be excruciating for those used to ever-connected 21st century living.
Fortunately, Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat have teamed up to bring speedy connectivity to the skies.
The telecommunications firms have announced a new strategy to bring “unprecedented passenger connectivity” to Europe’s aviation industry.
The solution involves combining an LTE-based ground network with a satellite network to offer air travellers high-speed in-flight Wi-Fi.
“This bold step will make Deutsche Telekom the first telecommunications operator to take the advantages of LTE technology to the European airspace,” explains Tim Höttges, CEO of DT.
He continues: “This will be the first aviation connectivity network in Europe powered by both LTE and satellite combined.”
Airplane Wi-Fi already exists on a number of flight operators, although it’s notoriously slow.
Anne Geelen, spokesperson for Deutsche Telekom, tells TrustedReviews that the maximum download speed on offer "is up to 75Mbs". That's just over 9-megabytes per second.
Andy Sukawaty, Inmarsat’s chairman, says it now has “connectivity solutions for the cockpit and the cabin of any type of aircraft, flying in any geography”.
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Lufthansa will be the first airline in Europe to take advantage of the combined network.
The German airline will launch a “state-of-the-art satellite-based broadband service” for its European flights starting in early summer 2016.
“We are pleased to offer our passengers an outstanding internet experience on board our short and medium haul flights already from 2016,” says Carsten Spohr, CEO of Lufthansa.