Together with satellite operator Inmarsat, we are planning to provide airline passengers in Europe with even better Internet access on airline flights. We are currently establishing the European Aviation Network (EAN) within the scope of a strategic partnership with additional partners. EAN is the first integrated solution worldwide that consists of a satellite and a complementary LTE-based ground network. Other partners are telecommunications company Nokia and aerospace specialist Thales.
Deutsche Telekom and Nokia completed the project's ground network at the start of 2018. To this end, 300 antenna locations were installed and the network was connected live. At the same time, Inmarsat and Thales advanced the satellite communication for the EAN. The satellite was launched in the summer of 2017 and has completed its tests in orbit in the meantime. Now it's ready to support on-board Internet services.
The EAN service has been functional since the end of 2017 after completing successful flight tests. Our first customer, airline group IAG, has already equipped multiple airplanes with EAN hardware and launched an internal pilot project. The EAN service is slated to be commercially available for passengers starting in the summer of 2018. The European-wide introduction of EAN for the entire IAG fleet will take place in 2019.