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Virgin Atlantic’s EU Aircraft to Get 70Mbps In-Flight Broadband

Thursday, September 18th, 2014 (8:41 am) - Score 423

Travellers looking to fly with Virgin Atlantic may be pleased to learn that Richard Branson’s airline has become the first European carrier to deploy Gogo’s new in-flight connectivity technology (2Ku), which uses a mix of ground and space (satellite) based stations to deliver on-board Internet access speeds of up to 70Mbps over a local WiFi network.

The new service is scheduled to be launched in the middle of 2015 and will make us of the latest advances in Ku-band satellite antennas, which are smaller, more efficient and like other Ku-band services operate in the 12–18GHz portion of the electromagnetic spectrum (microwave). In Europe the Ku band is used from 10.7 to 12.75GHz.

Apparently future upgrades to the service, which could make use of spot-beam satellites, may be able to deliver shared capacity speeds of up to 100Mbps per flight. Suffice to say that this would be a huge improvement over the handful of Megabits that current solutions deliver, which once shared can quickly become more akin to an old fashioned dialup service.

Reuben Arnold, Brand Director at Virgin Atlantic, said:

We’re always looking at ways to enhance the on board experience for our customers and expanding in-flight connectivity across our fleet is just one of the ways in which we are doing this. We were impressed with Gogo’s connectivity solution and look forward to all of our customers being able to enjoy this service whilst they fly.”

The effort is part of a £300m investment being made by Virgin Atlantic to upgrade its fleet with new services.

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