“Earth stations” for high-speed travel Wi-Fi
February 19th, 2014 by elisa

Ofcom has approved plans for high-speed wi-fi on planes and ships, allowing for speeds of up to ten times faster than currently available.

Late last month, the communications regulator announced the plans for the use of “earth stations” on moving vehicles. These devices can supply internet connection by linking to a geostationary satellite. They have been developed to track satellites more closely and provide a more reliable connection, even on fast-moving trains and planes.

Philip Marnick of Ofcom, said: “We want travellers to benefit from superfast broadband on the move at the kind of speeds they expect from their connection at home.

“Today’s decision means that operators of trains, boats and planes will soon be able to begin the process of making these valuable services available to their passengers.”

Earth stations on aircraft or ships will need to be licensed by Ofcom, while those mounted on land-based vehicles will not need such a licence. The regulator said that it is working on providing the licences to ships and aircraft from this month, with the first commercial use of the technology to begin later this year.

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