The network
Key elements
S-band satellite
LTE ground network
How it works

The network

The world-leading European Aviation Network (EAN) connectivity platform has been designed to meet the needs of airlines and their passengers across the busy traffic routes of Europe – and can be expanded rapidly to meet the growing demand for a quality broadband experience in the future.

As well as enhancing the passenger experience, airlines can utilise the benefits of high-speed connectivity to improve the operational efficiency of their aircraft flying over these busy skies – giving the European aviation industry an edge over the rest of the world.

The EAN is a partnership between Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom – bringing together two leading experts in global connectivity to deliver a high-speed broadband service to the aviation community.

Key elements

This market-leading broadband network will enable the European aviation industry to offer a connectivity experience for passengers to rival anything available anywhere else around the world, offering:

  • Increased bandwidth for faster connectivity options, even in high density flight areas
  • Economical antenna/terminal solution for every type of aircraft
  • Easily and cost-effectively scalable to meet demand, wherever and whenever needed
  • Complements the recently launched Global Xpress satellite network, which provides high-quality broadband to the aviation industry across the globe
 

S-band satellite

The Inmarsat S-band satellite, a state-of the-art platform, will provide multi-beam pan-European coverage. The satellite is custom-designed to offer innovative mobile satellite services (MSS) to commercial and business airlines flying over the dense European routes, exploiting Inmarsat’s 30MHz (2 x 15MHz) S-band spectrum allocation in all 28 EU member states.

Ground stations

Existing satellite ground station sites will be used to expand the required infrastructure for the Inmarsat S-band satellite.

LTE ground network

On the ground, Deutsche Telekom will build and manage a new powerful mobile broadband network of approximately 300 LTE sites that seamlessly works together with the MSS services. This pan-European infrastructure will use the same S-band allocation in the most efficient way, providing an enhanced passenger experience.

Once the aircraft have reached 10,000ft, the S-band connectivity will be combined with the Deutsche Telekom ground solution. The future-proof network will consist of special LTE tower sites, linked together to provide high-speed broadband coverage across all the 28 European Union member states.

Switching between the satellite and ground network will be automatically managed by the cabin systems, creating no impact or interference with the service delivered on board.

 

 

How it works

DCN network

Information from both the satellite and the high-speed broadband ground network will be integrated at Inmarsat’s Data Communications Network (DCN), which takes information from the Satellite Access Stations (SAS) and central Network Operations Centre (NOC). This network supports the signalling between ground network elements of the network management information as well as the transport of actual traffic data.

Aviation terminals

Aircraft will be equipped with terminals for both the S-band satellite and the high-speed broadband ground network, to enable seamless connectivity across the entire coverage region.

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