Ofcom looks at plans for superfast in-flight broadband

airplaneHigh-speed broadband could soon be available on flights after Ofcom proposed allocating more spectrum for satellite earth stations mounted on moving vehicles.

Following a consultation published last week, the regulator said that it plans to establish a framework that would allow the use of high-capacity Earth Stations on Mobile Platforms (ESOMPs), which would allow for high-speed broadband to be used on aircraft, ships, trains and coaches.

“ESOMPs represent a potentially valuable innovation and the development of a new market for mobile communications,” Ofcom said in its consultation. “Although other types of technology are already used to provide connectivity to aircraft, ships and land vehicles, the relatively large amount of spectrum that we propose to make available to ESOMPs mean they have the ability to provide links with higher capacity.”

At present, the plans are still being considered, with the confirmation of the plans relying on the potential to interfere with other satellite networks.

“In practice, we consider that the risk of interference with other services is very low,” said Ofcom.

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