Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat collaborate with Tampnet to strengthen European aeronautical network connectivity in the North Sea – SatNews

Installation of an EAN antenna on an oil platform in the North Sea by Tampnet. © Tamnetnet

The necessary pieces of equipment were flown in by helicopter in often difficult weather conditions and installed according to strict safety requirements on the offshore production platforms.

Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat have increased the capacity of their European Aviation Network (EAN) inflight broadband solution by working with Tampnet, a global leader in providing high capacity, low latency and reliable connectivity to offshore installations, mobile platforms and ships.

The cooperation concerns the installation and maintenance of five EAN sites on production platforms in the North Sea. Two additional antenna sites are being installed at offshore wind farms in German and Dutch coastal waters (exclusive economic zones) and another is already operational onshore in Norway. The new sites are strategically located to further improve EAN’s high-speed passenger connectivity on Northern European flights, including high-density flight routes between the UK, the Netherlands, Denmark and Norway. They complement the 300 LTE terrestrial network antenna sites already installed across Europe and will further enhance the combined performance of EAN’s satellite and air-to-ground network.

The five offshore antenna sites are located atop the existing communications infrastructure on the offshore production platforms and therefore benefit from Tampnet’s extensive fiber network in the region. The necessary pieces of equipment were flown in by helicopter in often difficult weather conditions and installed according to strict safety requirements on the offshore production platforms. All engineering and installation activities were carried out in close collaboration with the owners and operators of the platform.

Rolf Nafziger, senior vice president of Deutsche Telekom Global Carriersaid, “With the installation of eight additional antenna sites in and around the North Sea, we are proud to bring additional network capacity to an already exceptional connectivity service. The European aeronautical network gives European aviation a global advantage: airlines benefit from high-speed and scalable connectivity with low operating costs and pan-European coverage. Passengers enjoy seamless service as good as a broadband connection on the ground. »

Philippe Carette, President of Inmarsat Aviationsaid, “Europe’s aviation network is well established as the continent’s fastest inflight broadband solution, available to millions of passengers on short and medium-haul flights with British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and AEGEAN. For airlines, it has played an important role in improving the onboard experience, creating new revenue opportunities and building greater confidence in air travel. This latest enhancement coincides with the third anniversary of passenger service from our airline customers, with passenger utilization at record levels post-pandemic.

Elie Hanna, CEO of Tampnet said, “Tampnet is very proud to partner with Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat on such an innovative project. Our extensive offshore network was perfectly suited to the EAN project. Installing and maintaining an offshore LTE network is very challenging and we were honored to have the opportunity to extend our expertise and engage in such an innovative and meaningful project for Europe and the industry. aeronautics. Going forward, Tampnet will support the project by providing fiber backhaul and maintenance to base stations, providing additional coverage to the airspace above the North Sea. The fact that the network is fully supported by our submarine network ensures that it is scalable for future capacity needs.

The network enhancement marks a new development for EAN, which is the world’s first inflight broadband solution that combines dedicated satellite coverage with a complementary LTE-based terrestrial network. Offering unrivaled speeds, uninterrupted coverage and significantly lower latency than any other in-flight Wi-Fi network on the continent, it allows passengers to seamlessly browse the internet, stream video, check social media, enjoy real-time interactive applications such as games, and more. .

To date, more than 55 million passengers have benefited from access to the advanced broadband connectivity solution on more than 440,000 flights across the continent. Its popularity soared to new heights last year, with record usage as passengers returned to the skies. This is in line with Inmarsat’s latest Passenger Trust Tracker, the world’s largest survey of its kind, which found that 41% of 10,000 respondents believed in-flight Wi-Fi had become even more important. after the pandemic.

Specifically designed to meet the needs of European aviation, EAN delivers the fastest speeds over one of the busiest airspaces in the world, along with the fastest installation times and easy scalability to meet the growing future demand. It has now been activated on over 270 aircraft, including the entire British Airways short-haul fleet. These numbers will continue to grow in the coming years as the final rollout progresses with Iberia and Vueling – both members of the International Airlines Group (IAG) alongside British Airways – in addition to all existing and new Airbus A320s. of the Greek carrier AEGEAN and Aircraft A321.

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