July 25, 2024

Inflight broadband coverage boosted over the Mediterranean Sea

Viasat and Deutsche Telekom have announced a ground network expansion to the European Aviation Network (EAN) to enhance inflight broadband service in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea.

To meet growing demand from airline passengers, three new ground stations are now operating in the region to complement more than 300 ground network antenna sites already set up across Europe.

European Aviation Network

EAN allows air passengers travelling in Europe to benefit from an advanced inflight connectivity (IFC) experience for most intra-European flights. That includes broadband services supporting applications demanding high bandwidth, such as streaming and real-time applications. EAN combines Viasat’s S-band satellite coverage with a network of complementary ground components operated by Deutsche Telekom.

The EAN service utilises small, low-weight and low-drag terminals installed on aircraft, enabling substantial cost savings while supporting sustainability initiatives.

The enhanced capacity is particularly beneficial for passengers flying to and from Cyprus with the award-winning Greek airline AEGEAN. The airline launched its inflight connectivity service, powered by EAN, in 2022 to enhance its onboard passenger experience. It has been used by more than one million passengers so far. Since early in 2023, AEGEAN has offered free Wi-Fi access to all of its passengers.

The service is being installed on AEGEAN’s Airbus A320 and A321s, covering both existing aircraft and upcoming deliveries.

Viasat’s perspective

“EAN continues to deliver a great in-flight connectivity solution for certain fleets operating in Europe and we’re proud to augment the satellite capacity for passengers travelling to and from Cyprus with AEGEAN. We’ve been thoroughly impressed by AEGEAN’s commitment to enhancing its passenger experience however possible,” said Shameem Hashmi, Vice President of Aviation Strategy at Viasat.

“We know that reliable, high-speed broadband connectivity at 30,000 feet is crucial, and now, passengers travelling on every domestic route offered by AEGEAN can benefit,” continued Hashmi.

Further insights

Rolf Nafziger, Senior Vice President of Deutsche Telekom Global Carrier, said: “With Viasat, we launched the European Aviation Network with a vision to bring outstanding passenger connectivity to Europe’s aviation industry. It is amazing to see it grow from strength to strength in terms of customers and passenger usage.”

“One of EAN’s key advantages for airline customers is that it’s future-proof as we can adapt and expand our ground network at any time based on actual requirements. We proved this a couple of years ago with the North Sea expansion, and once again now, when EAN’s latest customer AEGEAN had such a need, which we were able to fulfil together with Viasat and Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiary in Greece, Cosmote,” he continued.

Dimitris Gerogiannis, Chief Executive Officer at AEGEAN, said: “The cooperation with EAN is a significant milestone for AEGEAN as it enabled us to further accelerate our product and offer an enhanced and always connected in-flight experience. With this new infrastructure advancement, we can now offer the same seamless inflight connectivity offered in all our network flights, also for the flights to and from Cyprus, that occasionally have faced some slower speeds.”

“Offering high-speed connectivity to every passenger, on each of our flights, fulfils our promise to all passengers travelling with AEGEAN and I am really pleased that through our partnership with Viasat and Deutsche Telekom, we are able to keep you all connected in the air,” he concluded.