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UAE companies achieve regional first with In-Flight Connectivity test of 50 Mbps

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 30 October 2017 – Yahsat, the UAE based satellite operator, today announced the successful trial of a 50Mbps in-flight connection that will change the way passengers experience air travel across the world. The result of a unique partnership between Yahsat, du, Etihad Airways Engineering, Hughes Network Systems and Carlisle Interconnect, the high-speed broadband offering will be available for airlines to offer its passengers within the next year.

Using Yahsat’s Al Yah 2 satellite, and the latest generation Ka-band technology, the test took place in Abu Dhabi, simulating the environment found on an Airbus A320 aircraft. This new level of performance for in-flight connectivity (IFC) will mean passengers have an in-flight browsing experience similar to the service available in their home or office, including access to HD streaming content, social media, online shopping and the ability to connect with friends and family via messaging apps.

Following this successful test, selected guests will be invited to experience the ultra- fast connectivity for themselves, onboard an Etihad Airways Flying Testbed Airbus A320 aircraft at the Dubai Airshow taking place from the 12th to 16th of November. Subsequently, Yahsat and its partners plan to execute the key next steps over the coming year to rollout the solution to commercial airliners across the Middle East, and beyond.

Masood M. Sharif Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer of Yahsat said, "We are incredibly proud to have brought together leading Emirati and global companies to achieve this milestone. It paves the way for Yahsat to bring further breakthrough technologies to the markets and segments it serves, adding another key pillar to Yahsat’s portfolio of market leading services and solutions. We look forward to showcasing the technology at the Dubai Airshow, and ultimately transforming the in-flight connectivity experience for passengers”

Abdul Khaliq Saeed, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Airways Engineering, said, “This is a first for commercial aviation and Etihad Airways Engineering is delighted to be part of this exciting and challenging project. Innovation is part of the DNA here in the UAE, with local companies, always looking to push the boundaries for the benefit of consumers. Our country is known as an incubator to generate new commercial ideas, and this latest initiative with Yahsat and du will ensure today’s travellers will enjoy the high-speed connectivity they already experience on the ground.”

Saleem Al Blooshi, Chief Infrastructure Officer at du said “Our partnership with Yahsat is a testament to our commitment towards adding life to life through innovative new technologies, and we are pleased to be a part of such a monumental step in aviation history. This partnership will allow us to establish the necessary infrastructure needed to keep passengers comfortably connected in the air through the latest and most advanced in-flight connectivity. We believe that together we will set the benchmark for high speed WiFi in the air and we look forward to enhancing our customer experiences like never before. Furthermore, we are introducing our state of the art Data Analytics as well as our Backend systems to this innovative In-Flight WiFi which enables the Airline Industry to use such analytics of the user behaviour to enhance even further the customer experiences on board airplanes. The Dubai Airshow 2017, is the ideal platform for us to showcase such products and introduce customers to the new reality of connected flying.”

About Yahsat Yahsat provides multipurpose satellite solutions (government and commercial) for broadband, broadcast, government, and communications use across the Middle East, Africa, and Europe in addition to Central and South West Asia. Based in Abu Dhabi, UAE, and wholly owned by Mubadala Investment Company, the investment vehicle of the Government of Abu Dhabi, Yahsat is the first company in the Middle East and Africa to offer multi-purpose Ka-band satellite services including:

• YahClick - offers broadband satellite solutions for home and business
• Yahsat Government Solutions - offers managed solutions and government capacity
• YahLink - offers IP trunking solutions, corporate networking and backhauling capacity
• Yahlive – a joint venture between Yahsat and SES, offers premium services to broadcasters and a select choice of TV channels

 

Yahsat’s first satellite Al Yah 1 was successfully launched in April 2011, and the company’s second satellite Al Yah 2 was successfully launched in April 2012. Yahsat announced its third satellite, Al Yah 3, extending their commercial Ka-band coverage to an additional 20 markets reaching 60% of Africa’s population and over 95% of Brazil’s population, marking the company’s first entry into Brazil.
For more information visit www.yahsat.ae

About Etihad Aviation Group
Etihad Aviation Group (EAG) is a diversified global aviation and travel group comprising five business divisions – Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, Etihad Airways Engineering, Etihad Airport Services, Hala Group and Airline Equity Partners. The group has minority investments in six airlines: airberlin, Air Serbia, Air Seychelles, Alitalia, Jet Airways, and Virgin Australia.
From its Abu Dhabi base, Etihad Airways flies to, or has announced plans to serve, more than 110 passenger and cargo destinations in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas. The airline has a fleet of over 120 Airbus and Boeing aircraft, with 204 aircraft on firm order, including 71 Boeing 787s, 25 Boeing 777Xs, 62 Airbus A350s and 10 Airbus A380s. For more information, please visit: etihad.com

About du du is a vibrant and multiple award-winning telecommunications service provider serving 9 million individual customers with its mobile, fixedline, broadband internet, and Home services over its 4G LTE network. du also caters to over 100,000 UAE businesses with its vast range of ICT and managed services. Since its launch in 2007, du has many UAE firsts to its credit, including introduction of Pay by the Second® billing system, IPTV and self-service portal.
du is ideally placed to support the realisation of UAE Vision 2021 and transformation of Dubai into a Smart City. du is also the official strategic partner of the Smart Dubai Office and the platform provider for Smart Dubai. Following the successful testing of the Middle East’s first Internet of Things (IoT) network, du is on course to complete deployment of its IoT network in 2016.
Brand Finance ranked du as the 12th most valuable brand in the Middle East in 2016. du previously won the coveted Brand of the year title by Superbrands Middle East in 2013. The company has been recognised with several other awards such as ISO 27001 certification of Managed Security Services and having the distinction of opening UAE’s first LEED Platinum Certified Green Shop. du also has the unique distinction of the first telecom in the world to release Sustainability Report based  on GRI-G4 guidelines in 2014. du is also credited with du’s world-class teleport is the largest of its kind in the Middle East and ranked among the top teleports in the world by World teleport Association.
du is 39.5 percent owned by Emirates Investment Authority, 19.75 percent by Mubadala Development Company PJSC, 19.5 percent by Emirates Communications and Technology LLC and the remaining by public shareholders. Listed on the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), the company trades under the name ‘du’.