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Qantas to bring free inflight WIFI to Australian skies

first_imgQantas to bring free inflight WI-FI to Australian skiesQantas customers can look forward to world-leading inflight wi-fi from next year under a partnership with global broadband services provider ViaSat that will tap into the nbn™ network.The new service will feature speeds up to 10 times faster than conventional on-board wi-fi, giving customers the ability to stream movies, TV shows, the latest news bulletins and live sports on domestic flights via the internet.In-flight trials are expected to begin with a single Qantas Boeing 737 aircraft in late 2016, retrofitted with equipment to enable high-speed wi-fi. A full roll-out across Qantas Domestic’s fleet of A330s and B737s is planned from early 2017, with the aircraft to be fitted with modems and the advanced antenna that receives the satellite signal.Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said the goal was to make Australia home to the world’s best inflight wi-fi experience.“Bringing high-speed wi-fi to the domestic aviation market has been an ambition of ours for a long time and we now have access to the right technology to make it happen,” Mr Joyce said.“The sheer size of the Australian landmass creates some significant challenges for inflight connectivity but the recent launch of nbn’s satellite has opened up new opportunities that we plan to take advantage of with ViaSat’s help,” he added.Under the deal, ViaSat will provide Qantas with connectivity between the aircraft and the high capacity KA-band satellite and ground stations, which will then provide a link to the internet.The user-friendly speeds delivered by ViaSat to airlines in the U.S. have driven take-up rates among passengers that are four times higher than the industry average.“This service will give Qantas customers download speeds in the air similar to what they’re used to on the ground,” Mr Joyce said. Fly QantasSource = Qantas Airlinelast_img read more