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Business · TMT · Commercial & Professional Services
Airbus and China Mobile cooperate to develop in-flight wi-fi
2018/12/11 06:36:43
China's News, China's Financial News, Airbus, China Mobile

Dec 11, 2018 (China Knowledge) - European aerospace giant Airbus Group has signed an agreement with Chinese telco China Mobile to develop in-flight wi-fi services to meet increasing demand for in-air connectivity.

The cooperation aims to develop an end-to-end solution for high-speed in-flight connectivity that will support the use of portable devices on board and the upcoming 5G technologies.

Earlier in January this year, the Civil Aviation Authority of China allowed the use of mobile devices on board as long as airplane mode was switched on. Following this, demand for in-flight wi-fi is expected to surge over the next few years as most domestic routes have yet to be equipped with wi-fi services due to technology and cost limitations.

Current approaches to in-flight wi-fi are either through satellite-to-plane signals directly or air-to-ground communications. Currently, most in-flight wi-fi operate via satellite-to-plane signals that can be unstable and expensive.

Air-to-ground communications, on the other hand, are cheaper as ground signal towers have richer resources, are more stable and easier to build. However, air-to-ground communications do not work when the plane is travelling over large bodies of water.

Bilateral cooperation will be conducted through subsidiaries of the two companies, the Airbus China Innovation Center in Shenzhen and the China Mobile Intelligent Mobility Network Technology Co., which has a focus on the transportation industry and 5G networks.

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