Printed from http://www.electronista.com

Ofcom approves satellite broadband connections on UK transport

updated 11:04 am EST, Tue January 21, 2014

Passengers could see faster Internet connections in transit before end of year

Transport companies in the United Kingdom could offer passengers faster Internet connections in the future, thanks to a recent decision by Ofcom. The UK regulator is permitting the use of satellite-based connections in travel, with Ofcom claiming passengers could end up seeing broadband speeds up to ten times faster than what is currently offered by airlines, ferries, and coach firms.

The change allows for devices called "earth stations" to be mounted onto the vehicles, which can connect to a geostationary satellite for a data connection. Ofcom estimates that speeds to a single station could reach around 50Mbps, or more than 10Mbps per passenger, with the regulator allocating 4,128MHz of spectrum for the endeavor. Ground-based vehicles will also benefit from being exempt from requiring a spectrum license, though aircraft and ships will still require licensing due to their ability to cross into other countries' jurisdictions.



Passengers may not have a long wait before the faster connections become available to use, with Ofcom suggesting the first commercial deployments could occur later this year. Ofcom expects regulations for the land-based earth station licensing exemption to come into force by the summer of 2014, with ship-mounted station applications set to start from February, and it is working with the Civil Aviation Authority to start aircraft licensing in a similar timeframe. It is also working with other international telecommunications authorities to promote the use of such technology globally.

This is the second major change for airline passengers in the UK in the last few months. In November, the European Aviation Safety Agency changed its rules and permitted the use of electronic devices at take-off and landing, shortly after a similar decision by the Federal Aviation Authority.



By Electronista Staff
toggle

Comments

Login Here

Not a member of the MacNN forums? Register now for free.

toggle

Network Headlines

toggle

Most Popular

Sponsor

Recent Reviews

Dell AD211 Bluetooth speaker

For all of the high-priced, over-engineered Bluetooth speakers in the electronics market, there is still room for mass-market solution ...

VisionTek 128GB USB Pocket SSD

USB flash drives dealt the death blow to both the floppy and Zip drives. While still faster than either of the old removable media, sp ...

Kodak PixPro SL10 Smart Lens Camera

Smartphone imagery still widely varies. Large Megapixel counts don't make for a good image, and the optics in some devices are lacking ...

Sponsor

toggle

Most Commented

 
toggle

Popular News