The Internet has become an integral part of our life. Every important electronic device we use needs the internet to work properly. In this age where the Internet is so important, we also have access to the internet in flight.
But have you ever thought about how we get internet on flights that are flying a whopping 30,000 feet above the ground? Today you will know the technology that is used to make that possible.
How to Use the Internet in flight:
There are two technologies which are used to get you in-flight internet.
ATG technology – ATG technology refers to air to ground technology. For this, antennas are placed at the bottom of the plane and they receive signals from towers that are placed on the grounds. These are not normal towers, they are specially placed for airplane internet. This system is cheaper than the other system, however, there are many drawbacks. Towers can only be placed on grounds while various flights fly over the ocean which makes this technology useless in flights that cross over the ocean. Also, the internet speed in ATG technology is not very impressive. You can barely do anything meaningful with this internet on the plane.
Satellite Technology – This technology uses the same frequency band which is used by various D2H services. The band is called the KU band of frequency. In this technology instead of placing the antenna on the bottom of the plane, the antennas are placed on the top of the plane. The internet signals are received from satellites instead of the ground. This resolves the problem of the internet being inaccessible in the ocean. Internet bandwidth is also better compared to ATG internet, however, it also has some drawbacks. The antennas on the top of the planes are very heavy and also affect the aerodynamics of the plane, making flights costlier.
ATG is not so compelling but Satellite technology for inflight internet is being developed. Instead of using the KU band, they are adopting the KA band. KA band has a higher frequency, the development can be understood as to how the development of 4G over 3G took place.