Emirates’ passengers bound for the US will soon be able to enjoy Wi-Fi, mobile service connectivity and Live TV broadcast, even when flying 40,000 feet over the North Pole and Arctic circle.
Emirates has led the world with inflight connectivity, with every aircraft connected for Wi-Fi, voice and SMS services. However on its flights to the US, which often travel over the polar region, passengers can find themselves without connectivity for up to 4 hours. This is due to the fact that most satellites that connect aircraft are geostationary, located over the equator, and aircraft antennae cannot see the satellite when in the far north, due to the earth’s curvature.
Emirates partner Inmarsat will soon solve this problem with the addition of two elliptical orbit satellites, thus providing coverage over the North Pole by 2022.
The new satellites will also provide Live TV broadcast on Emirates flights allowing customers to watch live news or sports over the polar region. Emirates’ Live TV is currently available on 175 aircraft including all Boeing 777 and select Airbus 380s.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer said: “We are very pleased with this development, which will ensure Emirates continues to lead the industry in providing our customers a seamless inflight connectivity experience across geographies, on all of our flight routes. Over the years, we have worked closely with Inmarsat and our supply partners to continually raise the bar on inflight connectivity, and we look forward to further enhancing that experience, taking advantage of new technologies and infrastructure.”