German airline Lufthansa has revealed that it is set to test a high-speed internet network designed for passengers while they are flying with the company.
For a long period of time, passengers have been questioning why they cannot use their mobile devices whilst on board an aircraft to pass the time. In recent months, multiple experiments have been conducted to break the myth that mobile devices will tamper with crucial on-board equipment. These myths have proved to be just that, as research has found that they do not have any effect.
This has led many airlines to begin testing inflight Wi-Fi systems and allowing passengers to have their mobile devices switched on and not in airplane mode.
Lufthansa has reached an agreement with Deutsche Telekom and Inmarsat to arrange the implementation of a high-speed Wi-Fi system for its short and medium haul flights. The companies announced their joint venture, which claims to combine broadband networks from the ground with satellite networks on board the aerial vehicles.
However, although passengers will be able to browse through the internet and update their Facebook status, they will still not be allowed to make a voice call for the time being.
Wi-Fi has been previously tested with other airlines, but passengers have found this to be considerably slower than speeds at ground level. Lufthansa believes this could be a turning point for the industry and sees it as an opportunity to lure more customers to the airline.
The airline company hopes to have its first flights with this built-in high-speed Wi-Fi ready for 2017, but intends to offer broadband access through existing satellite connections from next year.