5G technology developments in the Chinese aviation sector

5G technology developments in the Chinese aviation sector

A new partnership agreement was signed between SkyFive and Airbus China Innovation Center during the second Connected Aircraft China Congress 2020 in Shanghai, according to a press release published by SkyFive.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Lu Sun, Head of Airbus China Innovation Centre, and Thorsten Robrecht, SkyFive’s CEO had a virtual handshake. The technology partnership aims to develop a 5G air-to-ground solution for the Chinese aviation market. China Mobile – The local mobile telecom provider- was also included in the partnership.

“Customers will benefit from true 5G broadband experience whilst providing high-speed internet experience to the passenger and significantly improving operational efficiencies for airlines. Implemented with local telecommunication partners, the solution will transform the inflight connectivity economics providing a substantial reduction in costs whilst providing performance benefits,” said SkyFive in a statement.

SkyFive, who acquired a significant part of Nokia’s Air-to-Ground (A2G) assets, provides solutions and services for inflight connectivity. The company comes with expertise and experience acquired from the European Aviation Network developed through a partnership with Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom.

ATG connectivity experiments have been done in China but the technology hasn’t been implemented. The Airbus China Innovation Center (ACIC) is already working on A2G networks – considered a challenging sector. Located in Shenzhen-the first city to achieve 5G deployment in China – ACIC is the first Airbus Innovation Center in Asia. The A2G connectivity solution set to be implemented through the partnership would be available to the Chinese domestic market first. Moreover, a technology demonstration is set to be delivered in November during the China International Aviation & Aerospace Exhibition – the Zhuhai Air Show. 

SkyFive Chief Operating Officer, Dr. Ammar Khan, said “China has a very strong national policy, and the stakeholders are aligned on the connected agenda. Specifically looking at the air-to-ground, the government dedicated spectrum for the connectivity, the mobile operators like China Mobile who we are partnering with have a really large amount of spectrum for the services. It made sense to focus here,” according to Parex. Aero.

China will become the world’s number one aviation market in the near future, states SkyFive in the press release. The project will significantly improve operational efficiencies for airlines. Moreover, high-speed internet connectivity will enhance the passenger experience.