Telstra testing in-flight LTE service

Telstra testing in-flight LTE service
A few years ago, Qantas airlines conducted some trials with in-flight internet access for flights over Australia, but has pretty much abandoned offering the service due to lack of usage. In-flight Wi-Fi is offered on some international flights, but the experience is not what one would call consistent.

For the rest of the flights across the land down under, while Qantas has given up, Telstra has not. Australia’s largest carrier said that is has built some new mobile towers between Melbourne and Sydney for the purposes of providing air-to-ground broadband.

Tests of the network, called “Skinet” (not to be confused with SkyNet of Terminator fame), so far are seeing data speeds up to 15Mbps to aircraft in flight. The testing is being done using dedicated ground stations and using special terminals installed on a variety of aircraft.

Tests will continue through the rest of the year. Telstra will then determine the feasibility of building an LTE network nationwide for serving customers in the air. As of now, there is no defined time line to make the service available to consumers.

source: Delimiter

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4 Comments

1. SPASE

Posts: 261; Member since: May 03, 2013

Testing will include texting and making phone calls in flight. If all goes to plan, we should see it implemented Australia wide by the end of 2016.

2. 0xFFFF

Posts: 3806; Member since: Apr 16, 2014

That is going to make flying so much more enjoyable, listening to everyone talking on their cell phones.

3. microsoftnokiawin

Posts: 1268; Member since: Mar 30, 2012

and we won't be forced to pay $10 to watch foxtel on a small crappy screen for an hour flight because we'll have our phones entertaining us !

4. Augustine

Posts: 1043; Member since: Sep 28, 2013

People already have signal in buses and trains and most people are quite respecting. Those who aren't will be obnoxious with or without a phone. Besides, the behavior of most of the people should be the norm, not the outliers'.

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