Airbus & China Mobile to co-develop in-flight Wi-Fi

As for the growing demand for greater in-air connectivity, the Shenzhen-based Airbus China Innovation Center has signed an agreement with China Mobile Intelligent Mobility Network Technology Co to co-develop in-flight Wi-Fi services.

In January 2018, CAAC(the Civil Aviation Administration of China) lifted restrictions on the use of mobile devices on domestic flights. Passengers can now use mobile phones, tablets and laptops throughout the flight, as long as they are in flight mode. 

In the next few years, China’s in-flight Wi-Fi market in China is expected to enter a period of rapid growth. Due to the technology and cost limitations, most domestic routes are not equipped with Wi- Fi services.

Currently, in-flight Wi-Fi mostly relies on the Ku band signal channel, which makes it susceptible to instability during flights.

At present, the mostly used Ku band signal channel of in-flight Wi-Fi is susceptible to instability during flights. While Ka band, making the latest high-speed in-flight Wi-Fi, means the network will be much faster than the currently available one. Both technologies rely on satellites, which limit their orbital resources and make them more expensive than air-to-ground communications.