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Viasat, China Satcom Bring IFC to Airlines Over China

By | April 24, 2019
In-flight connectivity. Photo: ViaSat.

In flight connectivity. Photo: Viasat

Viasat and China Satellite Communications (China Satcom) entered into a strategic partnership to jointly provide In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) services within China for domestic and international airlines. Viasat and China Satcom will help enable Viasat’s global airline customers to have roaming connectivity when flying over China; provide IFC service to domestic flights within China; and enable Chinese airlines to roam onto Viasat’s global network.

China Satcom is a licensed telecommunications service provider in China and also owns and operates a Ka-band spotbeam satellite system in China, which is the only Ka-band system currently available for IFC service in the country. Yet today, only about four percent of flights within China are connected.

“Our agreement with China Satcom is a significant step towards realizing a seamless global community of high performance IFC. China Satcom is now the only satellite operator and licensed service provider in China with the bandwidth resources to deliver the in-flight experience our airline customers have come to expect and depend on,” said Don Buchman, vice president and general manager, Commercial Aviation, Viasat. “Our partnership is a natural way to extend state-of-the-art services specific to China Satcom’s fleet and the China domestic market, and create a global roaming alliance for our existing and new domestic and international customers and the rapidly growing Chinese global commercial airline fleet. We are honored to work with China Satcom in China to make IFC-at-scale a reality.”