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Satnews Daily
March 26th, 2012

OnAir... WiFi Winging Its Way Throughout Emirates Air Fleet (SATCOM)

[SatNews] OnAir Wi-Fi connectivity is now available across...

...all 21 of Emirates A380 fleet, which is the world’s largest A380 fleet. The combination of Emirates’ extensive A380 route network and OnAir’s consistent global coverage means passengers can access the Internet through their smartphones, tablets and laptops while flying all over the world. OnAir’s inflight GSM mobile phone network will be deployed on the Emirates A380s from July this year, the first time the combined GSM mobile phone and WiFi service will be available on A380s.

Internet OnAir has now been on more than 5,000 Emirates A380 flights, initially as a trial before the formal service launch at the end of 2011. With average data usage per user slightly below 20MB, the SwiftBroadband-based service has proven capable of handling demand. The bulk of usage is focused on social media, news and travel related sites, such as hotel, taxi and restaurant bookings, with passengers typically using the Internet during the first half of the flight. The time of the flight has a significant impact, with 73 percent of usage being during the daytime. However, usage levels remain the same regardless of the day of the week. The length of the flight also has an impact, with 84 percent of usage on flights of more than three hours. There is an even split between the type of device passenger use to access the Internet, with 48 percent using a laptop or tablet and 52 percent using a smartphone.

OnAir’s inflight connectivity services have now been selected by six A380 operators and are currently in service on 25 A380s, as well as being available as linefit and retrofit on a wide range of Airbus and Boeing aircraft.