ZTE reports it has completed the world’s first commercial ground-air FDD-LTE-based broadband network test in cooperation with Hainan Airlines.
The test occurred in February 2013 on Hainan Airlines Flight HU7137 from Beijing to Xi’an. Internet connectivity was available for 70 minutes of the two-hour flight. During the test, engineers were able to complete a variety of online tasks, including: real-time video conferencing, instant messaging, microblogging, emailing, online gaming and online payments. The downlink and uplink bandwidths were stable and worked at speeds greater than 12Mbps.
To adapt to the fast-growing online service needs of domestic airlines in China, in 2011 ZTE initiated R&D for the world’s first 4G civil aviation ground-air broadband communication system. The system is designed to provide wireless broadband data transmission channels at a rate higher than 30-60Mbps on planes flying at various altitudes. The service, which is based on advanced FDD-LTE 4G network technology, allows passengers to access the Internet via a cabin WLAN.
In 2006, in partnership with Aircell and Qualcomm, ZTE launched the first aerial broadband mobile system in the industry. The system provided nine US airlines, including 1,500 planes, with various airborne mobile services.
To provide a safe, efficient and convenient ground-air broadband network, ZTE developed an airborne ATG device to solve the communication problem between airborne devices and base-stations on the ground. Its adaptive frequency offset algorithm and super cell technology ensure continuity of the Internet service in the air, which improves customer satisfaction for online service during a flight.
ZTE vice president Xu Ming said: ‘As the world’s-first ground-air broadband solution provider, ZTE offers a stable, secure and speedy ground-air broadband network for airplanes. This allows passengers to enjoy mobile Internet on Wi-Fi-enabled electronic devices and have a more satisfying inflight experience.’
ZTE said it expects to launch a commercial 4G ground-air communication systems on most Chinese airlines in 2013.