Saudi Arabia’s Taqnia Space and Arab Satellite Communications Organization – Arabsat – are to build ARABSAT 6D, a new satellite that will be used for inflight connectivity
ARABSAT 6D will be co-owned by the King AbdulAziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) and Arabsat.
ARABSAT 6D will provide Ka- and Ku-band satellite telecommunication services, such as internet, fixed and mobile TV broadcasting, and other satellite services on board aircraft.
His Highness Prince Dr. Turki bin Saud bin Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud , Chairman of King AbdulAziz City for Science and Technology said: “The participation of KACST specialists as a key partner with Taqnia Space in technology, research, and development has contributed effectively in having the most advanced technical specifications for this satellite.”
Engineer Abdullah Al-Osaimi, CEO of Taqnia Space said: “This satellite comes as result of a development plan, started years ago after the ARABSAT 5C satellite and the first Saudi satellite (SGS-1), and is planned to be launched in 2018.
“This will meet the increasing demand for satellite services, particularly the provision of internet services, voice calls, and TV broadcast on board aircraft, which will be applied on board Saudi Airlines’ aircraft in early 2019.
“This will be the first airline in the Middle East to use the broadband service to provide such services for passengers travellers in all classes.”
Saudi Arabian Airlines signed a strategic partnership with TAQNIA Space in November 2016 to provide Saudia’s fleet with broadband internet access, voice calling and live TV services.