Thaicom has become the first in the Asia Pacific region to introduce commercial in-flight connectivity services using Ku-band to provide broadband on commercial flights beginning in August 2014, Thailand's leading satellite operator announced on 18 June.
The deal has been agreed with Thailand's number one premium low cost airline Nok Air, the satellite operator said in its statement. With 48,000 flights per year the carrier will provide broadband Wi-Fi services on many of its aircraft starting in August - ranging from Internet access to other complimentary services in the future.
According to the satellite operator, the announcement comes as it launches its "New Frontiers" campaign which will see it expand its focus to include end-to-end satcom mobility services for air, land, and sea vehicles.
"We are very pleased to be working with Nok Air on this in-flight connectivity service which is a young and very buoyant area for both the satellite and airline industries," said Suphajee Suthumpun, Chairman of the Executive Committee and CEO, Thaicom Public Company Limited. "It is a milestone and the first of many announcements for our exciting New Frontiers campaign aimed at serving the industry and our customers better. We are delighted to launch the IFC with Nok Air which should be beneficial for domestic as well as international passengers on board Nok Air's flights."
The Thaicom In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) broadband service, with its partner Global Eagle Entertainment/Row44, will be implemented as a value added service for Nok Air passengers. The service is capable of delivering 3G-like speed for a superior in-flight broadband experience.
The expansion plan shall further include the Asian region with in-flight connectivity services provided through Thaicom broadband, the satellite operator has indicated.
"Nok Air is adding in-flight Wi-Fi to our existing complimentary services to increase the appeal to passengers, particularly the new generation who insist on connectivity," said Patee Sarasin, Chief Executive Officer of Nok Airlines. "The introduction of in-flight Wi-Fi is consistent with the airline's drive to be innovative, as it has already offered free broadband connection at airport boarding gates."