Qantas has postponed the launch of its in-flight Wi-Fi because of “stability issues” and now expects the service to commence in the middle of the year.
According to www.news.com.au, the carrier says it is working with the national broadband network and satellite firm ViaSat to fix issues which had emerged during late testing of a system that will allow domestic customers to stream entertainment in-flight.
“We were preparing to open it up to media and customers this week as we continue our fine-tuning over the next few months, but some stability issues have emerged that we need to fix before customers can use it,” Qantas said in a statement on Monday.
“We’re working with NBN and ViaSat to fix these issues very soon. We remain on-track for a broader rollout to the Qantas domestic fleet from mid-2017.”
“Get Connected” reported last month that Qantas had completed its first real-world trial of the airline’s inflight connectivity system during a three-hour flight along the east coast of Australia between Sydney and Brisbane.
The special charter flight was organised ahead of the airline’s Boeing 737 starting public trials.
“Australian Business Traveller” reports that the plane was packed with volunteer Qantas staff, each using at least one device and many with two or more, ranging from smartphones to laptops.
It says each passenger on the test flight was assigned different tasks during the test, from downloading apps to streaming movies and music, sending emails and even testing the content filters, which are designed to block sites with questionable content.
Qantas reported typical download speeds of between 7Mbps and 12Mbps to each connected device. The Boeing 737 connected to the NBN Co’s pair of Sky Muster Ka-band satellites.
The airline expects “an average of around 50% of the aircraft to be connected via a single device at any one time” when the service is launched.
This is the first Asia Pacific airline to select ViaSat for its in-flight internet service, as well as the first airline in the region to choose its single, hybrid Ku/Ka-band antenna, which will keep aircraft connected to the best available satellite network.