Global Eagle Entertainment and Telesat have successfully performed an in-flight broadband connectivity test using the latter’s low-earth orbit (LEO) satellite system.

The trial was conducted onboard Global Eagle’s ‘Albatross One’ test aircraft near Telesat’s headquarters in Ottawa, Canada.

The first ever in-flight broadband connectivity test, the trial demonstrated improved data upload speeds, as well as uninterrupted video chatting and movie streaming, and the lowest latency of any satellite connection so far.

Global Eagle Entertainment executive vice-president and chief commercial officer Per Norén said: “It is all-systems go for revolutionising the passenger experience and changing the cost structure for airlines and maritime markets.

“This is an incredible milestone that shows how low-cost, low-latency and high-bandwidth systems will allow our customers in aviation and maritime to enjoy a better overall broadband experience on board.”

“Combining global spectrum rights in Ka-band with Telesat’s proprietary LEO architecture, our companies’ systems will satisfy many of the world’s most challenging communications requirements.”

The latest test has confirmed the ability of Global Eagle’s Q09000 antenna tracking capabilities on LEO Phase 1 satellite during the flight, and demonstrated various air-to-ground two-way video conference sessions during satellite transitions.

In addition, tests were performed to show the easy transition from Telesat’s existing Anik F3 GEO satellite network to Telesat’s Phase 1 LEO satellite during the flight.

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Telesat’s Phase 1 LEO satellite was launched earlier this year. The company has made an agreement with Global Eagle to develop, test and market the system.

Telesat LEO vice-president Erwin Hudson said: “Combining global spectrum rights in Ka-band with Telesat’s proprietary LEO architecture, our companies’ systems will satisfy many of the world’s most challenging communications requirements, including the ability to provide high performing, cost effective fiber quality connectivity to millions of airline and maritime passengers worldwide.”

Telesat is developing an advanced LEO constellation and aims for a global network with around 300 satellites.