Air travellers can look forward to better internet communications while on the air. Last month, Hainan Airlines tested the world’s first commercial ground-air FDD-LTE-based broadband network on its flight HU7137 from Beijing to Xi’an.
Internet connectivity was available for 70 minutes of the two-hour flight. During the test, engineers were able to complete a variety of online tasks, including real-time video conferencing, instant messaging, microblogging, email, online gaming, and online payments. The downlink and uplink bandwidths were stable and worked at speeds greater than 12Mbps.
The test was conducted in partnership with ZTE. To adapt to the fast-growing online service needs of domestic airlines in China, ZTE initiated in 2011 R&D for the world’s first 4G civil aviation ground-air broadband communication system. The system is designed to provide wireless broadband data transmission channels at a rate of higher than 30-60Mbps on planes flying at various altitudes. The service, which is based on advanced FDD-LTE 4G network technology, allows passengers to access the Internet via a cabin WLAN.
In 2006, in partnership with Aircell and Qualcomm, ZTE launched the first aerial broadband mobile system in the industry. The system provided nine US airlines, including 1,500 planes, with various airborne mobile services.
To provide a safe, efficient and convenient ground-air broadband network, ZTE developed an airborne ATG device to solve the communication problem between airborne devices and base-stations on the ground. Its adaptive frequency offset algorithm and super cell technology ensure continuity of the Internet service in the air, which improves customer satisfaction for online service during a flight.