Spanish airline Vueling, part of the International Airlines Group with British Airways and Iberia, has signed an agreement with telecoms provider Telefónica, to implement a high-speed wifi service on a number of their aircraft.

Under the agreement, four Vueling Airbus A320 aircraft will offer the service this year, making the airline the first in Europe to offer high speed wifi, and thus laying the foundation of a model of on board connectivity.

Before this agreement, this type of data access was not possible in such short distances in Europe such as Madrid and Barcelona, for example, and the airline believe that it opens up a “world of possibilities for passengers”, enabling flyers to check and answer emails, update their social network status and stay connected to news and events in real time, among many other possibilities.

Telefónica will be responsible for integrating the technology for high speed LiveTV with AIR ACCESS through its Eutelsat KA-SAT satellite, in order to provide a complete solution to access Internet in the air.

The technical specifications state that the Ka-band satellite systems are unique for being able to offer a user experience similar to that of a 20 Mbps ADSL line at home, and through the technology of a new generation of Ka-band satellites, also called High Throughput Satellites (HTS), it will allow passengers to use their electronic devices during the flight as if on land.

Telefónica in turn has selected the Eutelsat satellite network and mobile service as provider, while LiveTV will provide all the equipment on board the aircraft. LiveTV is also in charge of the process for obtaining the necessary certifications from the European Aviation Safety Agency for the use of this technology in the Vueling Airbus A320´s.

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