BTN Europe presents an overview of business travel and MICE predictions for this year
Virtual Event - 1 October 2020
ExCeL London - 22-23 June 2021
High-speed wifi could be made available during flights as early as next year if a new satellite system proposed by Ofcom gets the green light.
The UK communications regulator last week began a consultation on a satellite system for aircraft, ships and trains that can provide wifi connections up to 10 times faster than the speeds currently available on public transport.
The technology, known as Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms (ESOMPs), uses high-frequency bands. It has already been approved for use by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
It is so far unclear whether UK-based airlines would adopt the system or not, if it is approved by authorities.
Richard D’Cruze, British Airway’s inflight entertainment and technology manager, told the BBC that the carrier is “closely monitoring developments in the connectivity market in both the satellite and direct air-to-ground technology areas”.
Ofcom said it has been in talks with many of its European counterparts to see how best to implement the technology. France and Germany are understood to be involved in these discussions.
However, the move might not be good news for all as it would likely also result in passengers being able to take phone calls via Skype and similar software.