Deutsche Telekom to Build Special 300 LTE Sites for In-Flight Broadband

Deutsche Telekom to Build Special 300 LTE Sites for In-Flight Broadband Image Credit: Deutsche Telekom

Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat, Monday announced a partnership to leverage LTE-based ground network and satellite network to deliver in-flight high-speed Internet access to air travelers in Europe. Using Inmarsat's new Inmarsat S-band satellite, airlines will benefit from a cost efficient and future-proof connectivity solution, said both companies.

According to the plan, Lufthansa will be the first European hub airline to capitalize on innovative connectivity services in the sky. Building on this strategic relationship, Lufthansa is committed to a flight trial program of the European Aviation Network from 2017 onwards.

The solution is based on mobile broadband network of approximately 300 LTE sites which Deutsche Telekom will build and manage. The LTE sites will have a range of more than 80 km (while conventional LTE sites have a range of 10 km or less), will be able to transmit data to the operating altitude of passenger planes, and are flexible enough to deal with the speed of a plane. Once the aircraft has reached 10,000ft, Deutsche Telekom’s ground network will be combined with the satellite connectivity.

Tim Höttges, CEO of Deutsche Telekom
This bold step will make Deutsche Telekom the first telecommunications operator to take the advantages of LTE technology to the European airspace and fits perfectly into our strategy to become the leading European telco. As a groundbreaking innovation we will roll out a powerful terrestrial network based on LTE within the European Aviation Network. 

Andy Sukawaty, Chairman of Inmarsat
The integrated satellite and complementary LTE-based ground network will ensure that Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom together deliver the fastest, best and most consistent in-flight broadband experience that meets the needs of airlines in this region. Combined with our global GX (Ka-band) and L-band services, we now have connectivity solutions for the cockpit and the cabin of any type of aircraft, flying in any geography.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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