Pan European Wi-Fi air passengers coming after partnership announced by Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom

James Nickerson
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Lufthansa will be the first European airline to provide in-flight internet (Source: Getty)

European air passengers will now be able to Skype, shop online and send emails in-flight after Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom announced they will team up to provide "in-flight high-speed internet access", providing greater connectivity than Wi-Fi currently offered on some flights.

Under the partnership, Inmarsat, the FTSE 100-listed satellite communications company, will provide "pan-European" satellite coverage, while Deutsche Telekom will supply the 4G.

While America has been ahead of the curve, with airlines including JetBlue Airways offering internet after take-off, the "European aviation network" will offer 10-times the bandwidth of the likes of GoGo in America, a Inmarsat spokesperson said.

Read more: Inmarsat blasts off by signing three new aviation customers

The ambition is that "full coverage of European air routes, and sufficient capacity to support the demand, even in high density traffic areas during peak busy hours", will be provided.

"With this integrated network we can meet the need for capacity, flexibility and quality of service, including the ability to expand quickly to anticipate growth in demand," said Inmarsat chief executive Rupert Pearce.

Read more: Inmarsat plans Wi-Fi in the sky across Europe

German airline Lufthansa will be the first European hub airline to provide the access, planned to start in early summer next year.

Inmarsat said: "Airlines will benefit from a cost efficient and high speed, high capacity connectivity solution."

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