Wi-Fi in the Sky: Thaicom Launches Asia-Pacific In-Flight Connectivity Service
Leading Asian satellite operator becomes first to offer service using Ku-band in Asia-Pacific
Nonthaburi, Thailand, 23 September 2014 – The first flight to use Thaicom’s new satellite-based In-Flight Connectivity (IFC) service in Asia-Pacific took off from Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport today. The service, which uses Ku-band and is now fully operational, provides broadband on commercial flights for Thailand’s number one premium low cost airline, Nok Air.
Journalists and regular passengers on board Nok Air flight DD7510 from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport to Phuket, Thailand, had the opportunity to be the first to use the service and access the Internet while airborne.
Suphajee Suthumpun, Chairman of the Executive Committee and CEO, Thaicom Public Company Limited said: “Today’s in-flight connectivity service launch is testimony to our continued efforts to provide innovative services that offer real-life benefits to many people and enhance the quality of life of many in Thailand and Asia. We are excited to be working with Nok Air to help increase its customer experience by providing such a milestone service for the satcom industry.”
Thaicom is now enabling Nok Air’s passengers to receive broadband Internet via Wi-Fi and satellite, giving them access for web browsing, sending and receiving emails, using social media and reading the news. The agreement with Nok Air is initially for six aircraft, with a plan to expand the service to the whole fleet of 22 aircraft within three years. With 48,000 flights per year, six million Nok Air passengers could benefit from the newly launched, value-added service, which is capable of delivering 3G-like speed for a superior broadband experience.
Patee Sarasin, CEO of Nok Air, commented at the press conference: “We’re very excited to be the first in Asia to offer free in-flight Wi-Fi to our passengers on top of our other free services. This is testament to our promise of being proactive in bringing new and innovative services to our passengers. In-flight Wi-Fi will provide our passengers with a whole new travelling experience, as they can still connect to what is important to them at 35,000 feet in the air.”
The IFC solution is developed in partnership with Global Eagle Entertainment, a leading provider of satellite-based in-flight entertainment and connectivity solutions to commercial passenger aircraft, and marks the first step in Thaicom’s recently announced “New Frontiers” campaign, which will see the growth of its portfolio in mobility services, designed for on-the-move communications on land, at sea and in the air.
Thaicom has almost 25 years of operational and technical experience for providing premium satellite communication services.
THAICOM Public Company Limited, a leading Asian satellite operator, was established in 1991. The Company was the first to launch a broadband satellite in the world, and is a leader in developing integrated solutions for satellite broadband and broadcast services. The Company’s engineering teams provide leading-edge innovative solutions for satellite-based telecommunications services. Since its establishment the Company has launched seven satellites, with four satellites in operation: Thaicom-4 (IPSTAR) provides a variety of broadband and data services, including cellular backhaul, mobility, government USO support, content delivery, business continuity and emergency services in thirteen countries in Asia Pacific. Thaicom-6 is to expand the Company’s broadcast carrying capacity in SE Asia and Africa (by the name “Africom-1”) and is collocated with Thaicom-5 at 78.5 degrees East; the satellites board a combined 700 TV channels both in SD and HD formats. Thaicom-7 was launched in September 2014 to provide media & data services for Asia’s and Australasia’s entertainment and telecom industries at 120 degrees East. Thaicom-8 will be launched in 2016 to expand Thaicom’s servicing capacity and footprint in the region.
THAICOM is traded on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) under the trade symbol “THCOM”.
About Nok Air
Nok Air is Thailand’s homegrown premium low cost airline, and the leading domestic carrier with the most extensive coverage plan. Established in 2004, Nok Air operates from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport with a fleet of 16 Boeing 737-800, 2 ATR 72-500, and 1 Q400 NextGen aircraft, serving 24 domestic routes and 1 international route. Fleet expansion is in place with confirmed orders for 6 Bombardier Q400 NextGen, and 7 Boeing 737-800 Next-Generation and 8 Boeing 737 Max aircraft. Nok Air passengers enjoy complimentary services such as seat selection, inflight snack, 15kg of luggage, a cutting-edge distribution and payment channel, and upcoming Wi-Fi onboard. For more information, please visit: www.NokAir.com