Communications regulator, Ofcom, is currently considering licensing new satellite technology that could mean higher bandwidth that is able to support streaming films and music. The system uses Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms, known as (ESOMPs), to deliver the network rather than relying on the currently limited 2G mobile networks. This move, if it is pushed forward, will increase the productivity of some individuals, but will also have an effect on the stress levels of others. The plan is to have high-speed internet that could be aboard most flights as early as next year. this will be a change from the very limited number of carriers, which currently offer fairly slow web surfing on board their aircraft.
The technology can also be used on ships and trains and uses a higher frequency current systems to deliver faster speeds. Interesting to note is the fact that any British airlines have yet to decide if they would use the technology. British Airways in-flight entertainment and technology manager, Richard D’Cruze, said: “We are always interested in employing new technology to improve the service that we can offer our customers, and are closely monitoring developments in the connectivity market in both the satellite and direct air-to-ground technology areas…We are about to embark upon a year long connectivity trial using one of our Boeing 747’s fitted with a broadband satellite system,” reported the Daily Mail.
Editor of broadband information website, thinkbroadband.com, Andrew Ferguson said in-flight internet could increase the cost of fares when passengers could instead use 3G and 4G networks…The parts of the UK that might benefit the most are those train services in rural areas where 3G connectivity is currently very poor or non-existent.” Some American airlines already offer a Wi-Fi service on domestic flights, but it can cost up to £14 for a pass. Is the UK to head in the same direction if this plan goes ahead?
[Image via: onthebeach]