Saudia UON inflight connectivity goes live on flights from Riyadh

Taqnia's UON dual Ku/Ka antenna.
Taqnia’s UON dual Ku/Ka antenna.

Saudi Arabia’s UON inflight connectivity service has been launched on Saudia flights from Riyadh to Geneva, offering high-speed internet and 3G/4G mobile services.

The Kingdom’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) says a live television feed will also be available to passengers in the next few days.

UON, from Taqnia Space in Saudi Arabia, is a dual Ku/Ka-band inflight connectivity solution. Saudia was named as the launch customer of the new system at this year’s Aircraft Interiors Expo in Hamburg in April.

CEO Abdullah Alosaimi, said at the launch that the system meant “all airlines around the world will be able to offer their passengers high-throughput connectivity services that are currently provided in a limited scale by few airlines in North America”.

The company is part of the Saudi Arabian Development and Investment Company (SADIC) and worked in collaboration with French satellite operator Eutelsat, Japanese aerospace designer Jamco, US satellite technology company Idirect, content deliverers Axinom and SITAONAIR.

UON gives passengers access to the internet, telephone and live TV streaming using their own mobile devices with billing being handled via a simple, easy-to-use payment system.

SITAONAIR was appointed as connected aircraft service consultant and technology supplier to Taqnia Space.

GACA signed a strategic partnership agreement with Taqnia Space Company at this week’s Bahrain Airshow to strengthen the Kingdom’s position at regional and international level.

It said this is in an effort to keep pace with the Kingdom’s “Vision 2030” and to further develop cooperation and joint projects.

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