Qatar Airways is preparing for the roll out of what it calls “Super Wi-Fi” across a combined fleet of 130 Airbus A350s and Boeing 777 aircraft. When the service goes live, Qatar will become the first commercial airline based in the Middle East to invest in Inmarsat’s GX Aviation technology. Lufthansa became the first airline to operate Inmarsat’s Ka-band broadband service in May 2017. The GX Aviation network features four high-throughoput satellites (HTS), each with 89 spot beams and up to 50 mbps per beam.
Qatar’s aircraft are using Honeywell’s JetWave satellite communications hardware, which includes a Multi-Channel Satellite (MCS) terminal, antenna controller, modem and router hardware, and a tail-mounted antenna dual receivers.
Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker said Qatar’s selection of Inmarsat was driven partially by the company’s knowledge of Inmarsat already providing aircraft tracking for its flight operations and future development of the technology.
Here’s what Baker told Avionics about their new Super Wi-Fi in-flight internet technology.
How did the selection of Inmarsat’s GX Aviation technology come about?
We are dedicated to always exceeding the expectations of our passengers when they are traveling with us, therefore we look to provide them with the best the industry has to offer. Inmarsat is one of the world’s leading developers of tracking systems and is the same high-tech provider we use to track all of our flights worldwide.
Between assessing Inmarsat’s premium, high-speed satellite tracking system and seamless global coverage, the decision to proceed with the GX Aviation technology was an easy one. Moreover, we considered the future development of Inmarsat’s technology to the evaluation process.