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Saudi Arabian Airlines to provide internet connectivity on North African flights

Saudi Arabian Airlines to provide internet connectivity on North African flights

Passengers will enjoy the Taqnia Space Connectivity package through their devices, on Saudi Arabia and international flights over Middle East, North Africa, Mediterranean and Europe. (Image Shutterstock)

Checking emails and social networks, streaming live content at 36,000 feet, are poised to become reality at the end of this year for passengers connected to Taqnia Space Aero services platform. This follows an agreement between Eutelsat Communications Paris, a global satellite operators and Taqnia Space, owned by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia.

The multi-million dollar, multi-year deal covers spot beam capacity on the Eutelsat 3B satellite in order to provide high throughput satellite connectivity services to Taqnia Space Airline clients over the Middle East, North Africa, Mediterranean and Europe regions.

Bandwidth on Eutelsat 3B will support live TV, on-board voice, GSM and broadband connectivity from third quarter 2017 on commercial aircraft connected to Taqnia Space Aero services platform. Saudi Arabian Airlines, one of the leading airlines in the Middle East, will be the first commercial airline connected to the platform, with more than 100 medium and long-haul aircraft. Passengers will enjoy the Taqnia Space Connectivity package through their devices, laptops, tablets, smartphones, on domestic flights in Saudi Arabia and international flights over the Middle East, North Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe.

Taqnia Space will use four High Throughput Ka-band spot beams on the Eutelsat 3B satellite that have been steered by Eutelsat to cover flight paths extending from London to Saudi Arabia and from Casablanca to Oman.

Eutelsat 3B is a tri-band satellite, for markets in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South America. With up to 51 operational transponders, Eutelsat 3B operates in the C, Ku and Ka-bands. To complement Eutelsat’s capacity portfolio and geographic reach, Eutelsat 3B brings resources in three frequency bands connected to fixed and steerable antennas for maximum flexibility. This enables customers to select the most relevant frequency band for different types of service.

Ku and C-band capacity is optimised for broadcast and data markets. High throughput beams in the Ka-band, individually steerable to regional and national markets and operating with scalable allocation of power and spectrum, support innovative applications in bandwidth-demanding markets. Launched in May 2014, Eutelsat 3B is based on the Eurostar 3000 platform and designed with a 15-year life expectancy.

Abdullah Al-Osaimi, CEO of Taqnia Space, commented: “This cooperation with Eutelsat empowers Taqnia Space in the fast-changing landscape of in-flight services. It supports our strategy to expand our Taqnia Space Aero services Aero platform to global coverage and capacity in order to satisfy demand driven by regional and international commercial airlines.”

“Adding Eutelsat 3B satellite capacity to the Taqnia Space Aero services platform is a continuation of a growth plan initiated a few years back with the 5C satellite over the Middle East that will be followed by two major satellite projects, SGS-1 2018 and 6D 2019.”

“Having the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology as the prime technology and research and development partner in the Taqnia Space Aero services platform provided invaluable support to the development of the first Saudi Aero Satellite Service Solution,” added Al-Osaimi.

Rodolphe Belmer, CEO of Eutelsat, concluded: “Satellite technology naturally comes into play in the in-flight connectivity market thanks to its ability to deliver a best-in-class service across large territories. We are delighted that the efficiency that can be achieved with the Ka-band multi-beam configuration on Eutelsat 3B has won the confidence of Taqnia. This venture is an opportunity for long-term cooperation with a major player in Saudi Arabia’s innovation development ecosystem.”

Eutelsat 3B is a tri-band satellite, for markets in Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia and South America. With up to 51 operational transponders, Eutelsat 3B operates in the C, Ku and Ka-bands. To complement Eutelsat’s capacity portfolio and geographic reach, Eutelsat 3B brings resources in three frequency bands connected to fixed and steerable antennas for maximum flexibility. This enables customers to select the most relevant frequency band for different types of service.

Ku and C-band capacity is optimised for broadcast and data markets. High throughput beams in the Ka-band, individually steerable to regional and national markets and operating with scalable allocation of power and spectrum, support innovative applications in bandwidth-demanding markets. Launched in May 2014, Eutelsat 3B is based on the Eurostar 3000 platform and designed with a 15-year life expectancy.

Taqnia Space Aero services vision is to be a leader in the Middle East as satellite manufacturer, operator and service provider, targeting different market segments. The company also provides high value remote sensing data and images.

Eutelsat’s satellites provide ubiquitous coverage of Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, enabling video, data, broadband and government communications to be established irrespective of a user’s location.

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