Advanced technology at satellite access station in Greece successfully validated, bringing passengers closer to unprecedented in-flight broadband on European flights

United Kingdom | February 6, 2017–
Inmarsat (ISAT.L), the world’s leading provider of global mobile satellite communications, has announced a key infrastructure milestone for its European Aviation Network (EAN), following the successful test and validation of the EAN Satellite Access Station (SAS).

As the first solution in the world to integrate connectivity from a satellite, operated by Inmarsat, and a LTE-based ground network, operated by Deutsche Telekom, EAN will provide a true in-flight broadband experience for millions of airlines passengers travelling throughout Europe.

The SAS is located in the Greek town of Nemea and operated under an agreement with OTE, the largest telecommunications provider in Greece and member of the Deutsche Telekom Group. Engineers undertook rigorous performance and stability tests to verify the SAS’s capabilities to serve as a reliable and robust gateway between Inmarsat’s S-band satellite and the internet.

Frederik van Essen, Inmarsat Aviation’s Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development, said: “The European Aviation Network offers a broadband experience like no other in the sky by combining satellite coverage with additional capacity from the ground network. Passengers can connect using their personal devices for internet browsing, video streaming, gaming and other online services. There are also important cost and operational benefits for airlines, as the EAN system is highly compact and weighs only a few kilos.

“The results of infrastructure testing at the satellite access station in Nemea, conducted with our partners Cobham SATCOM and OTE using a satellite simulator, have exceeded expectations and reinforced our confidence prior to the scheduled launch of our S-band satellite in the middle of 2017. We remain on track for EAN’s service introduction later in the year.”

The SAS consists of a 13-metre antenna that provides feeder links to the satellite, a radio frequency sub-system and a radio access network provided by Inmarsat partner Cobham SATCOM.

  • AirportConnect® Open allows multiple airlines to use the same infrastructure

Athens | November 22, 2016– Fraport Greece, which will soon be responsible for operating, maintaining and upgrading 14 Greek regional airports over a 40-year concession period, has selected SITA’s state-of-the-art common-use terminal equipment (CUTE) to be implemented at all its airports.

Fraport Greece’s investment in the 14 regional airports is aimed at promoting the surrounding cities and regions as tourist destinations, driving increased passenger traffic, supporting both local and national economies, and providing high-quality services to passengers as well as other airport users and stakeholders. Key to this investment in infrastructure is SITA’s common-use systems, which will allow the airlines to work seamlessly at the Fraport Greece airports and to share check-in desks, kiosks and boarding areas while accessing their own airline-specific systems.

SITA AirportConnect® Open is the only common-use platform that fully integrates solutions both for agents and passengers. It delivers seamless self-service from check-in to security and boarding all the way to border security on arrival. It is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliant, supporting the security requirements of the credit card industry. SITA has supplied its AirportConnect® Open solution to more than 420 airports worldwide.

Alexander Zinell, CEO of Fraport Greece, said: “Well-managed airports worldwide have proven that they also serve as economic engines for their communities. Our aim is to reposition the 14 airports as modern, competitive gateways that support the growth of the regions and the country’s tourism industry overall. Technology will play a central role in achieving our vision for an improved passenger experience and SITA is a key partner in providing the state-of-the-art technology solutions required.”

Fraport Greece is currently working on development plans for the 14 airports that take into consideration the specific needs of each location. In total, Fraport Greece will invest around €330 million in the development of the airports’ infrastructure until 2020.

Dave Bakker, SITA President Europe, said: “With our experience in more than 1,000 airports globally, SITA has the expertise and technology to ensure that we provide the right solution for each airport. Our CUTE solution allows any airline to quickly set up and operate from any of the airports, helping Fraport Greece elevate the experience for airlines as well as their passengers.”