Saudi Arabia’s first air-to-ground inflight internet service is now online, thanks to Saudia, Skyfive, CITC, STC, and Eclipse Global Connectivity.
High speed inflight connectivity over China took another step forward earlier this month, as Safran Passenger Innovations (SPI) and SkyFive announced a partnership to integrate their services for airlines. The SkyFive air-to-ground networking hardware will connect to SPI’s RAVE on-board platform, with promises of incredibly high speed, low latency service to passengers.
The technology is proven, with hundreds of aircraft connected across Europe. But building out a new in-flight connectivity platform and deploying it to an airline remains an expensive proposition. Global air-to-ground technology provider SkyFive plans to address that major challenge with a new round of funding.
China remains, somewhat surprisingly, one of the least connected aerospace markets in the world. Once again, however, there are hints that could change with the deployment of a massive air-to-ground network. Backed by local airlines, telecom companies, and – most importantly – the government, efforts are once again underway to deliver a trial ATG network in the country.
Air-to-ground connectivity is coming to Australia. ATG infrastructure specialist SkyFive announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Australia’s Pivotel to undertake a detailed technical evaluation and proof-of-concept trial for the solution across a large swath of the country between Dabbo and Sydney.
Domestic flights across Vietnam will have internet service in the near future. Vietnam Airlines confirms its intentions to add in-flight connectivity to its domestic fleet. The news is part of a strategic alliance with local telco Viettel and will be delivered through an air-to-ground (ATG) network.
Air-to-ground connectivity company SkyFive bolstered its bank account this week, closing a Series A funding round. The round was led by Safran Corporate Ventures. Also participating in the round was STAR Capital, a European private equity fund manager with a track record of developing emerging infrastructure businesses.
Getting a 5G air-to-ground network into service in the USA is a tough task, with schedules continuing to slip and questions about the hardware involved. But in China the new services are expected to launch soon, and expand quickly. Powered by Chinese manufacturer ZTE, a new network could be online in a matter of months.
After years of escalating appeals and conflicting decisions the European Court of Justice handed down the ultimate decision today: Inmarsat’s European Aviation Network (EAN) is legal.
New Zealand could be the next country to bring a dedicated air-to-ground (ATG) in-flight connectivity network online. Engineering work is almost complete to develop a trial site for the SkyFive ATG platform in the country.