Inmarsat scored another legal victory for its EAN service but Viasat refuses to give up the fight. Expect plenty more wrangling as this drama continues to unfold.
European Aviation Network
The first two aircraft in Latin America with Inmarsat’s GX Aviation inflight connectivity solution are now online. Avianca officially inaugurated the service this week, launching a two month trial period where passengers can connect for free while in flight.
Air-to-ground connectivity networks do not work over water. The word ground is right there in the name. Not ocean, not sea. Ground. And yet, Deutsche Telekom has its eyes on changing the rules of ATG networking, bringing the technology to some overwater flights to further support Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network (EAN) operations. The idea might not be as crazy as it sounds.
Air-to-ground connectivity networks do not work over water. The word ground is right there in the name. Not ocean, not sea. Ground. And yet, Deutsche Telekom has its eyes on changing the rules of ATG networking, bringing the technology to some overwater flights to further support Inmarsat's European Aviation Network (EAN) operations. The idea might not be as crazy as it sounds.
Inmarsat's European Aviation Network (EAN) received approval this week from Belgian telecom authorities for its ground component service. Again. That's good news for the inflight connectivity provider as it works to secure the necessary regulatory approvals across Europe in advance of service launch, still expected later this year. It is a setback for Viasat, Eutelsat, and Panasonic Avionics as they fight the EAN deployment through legal and regulatory battles.
Demand for the Inmarsat EAN inflight connectivity product in the business aviation market is no surprise. And now the company is ready to deliver. The high-speed hybrid connectivity service will be availalbe to the BizAv market starting in January 2019.
Is Google poised to launch an inflight internet service? The company is rumored to be looking at a Nokia division to pick up the necessary hardware for such. Scratch beneath the surface, however, and more viable use cases emerge.
Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network just received a significant regulatory boost: it is now authorized to fly in France. That was a significant geographic gap in the coverage area that is now filled. Great new particularly for British Airways with its aircraft already being fitted to launch service later this year.
The Inmarsat EAN inflight wifi connectivity network is fully built out. Aircraft installations are underway. So, where will we find the aircraft sporting the kit and when will it enter commercial service? Some answers are starting to show up.
Inmarsat's hybrid EAN service is on track for entry to service in 2018. Could it have a new airline customer to come along with that launch? Signs point to an interesting opportunity within the Lufthansa Group of airlines.