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Israel’s Gilat and Air Esurfing collaborate to provide in-flight connectivity to domestic airlines in China

Photograph courtesy of Gilat.

Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd., a worldwide leader in satellite networking technology, solutions and services, announced on 17 January 2017 a strategic partnership with Air Esurfing, a fully owned subsidiary of Air Media Group, to transform the domestic in-flight connectivity (IFC) market in China. The partners intend to utilize China’s Ka-band High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) capacity for domestic IFC services over mainland China.

Gilat and Air Esurfing will join forces to deliver broadband connectivity to airlines throughout China. Gilat will leverage its multi-service HTS platform that will operate with ChinaSatcom’s Ka-band capacity planned to be launched in 2017. Gilat’s solution will enable continuous service exceeding 100Mbps and servicing many dozens of passengers per aircraft. Gilat will provide a complete IFC terminal including its unique ER6000-A Ku-Ka antenna terminal and its Taurus Modman. The partners will jointly pursue STC certification for the Gilat system with commercial pilots already planned for early 2018.

“We have chosen to collaborate with Gilat due to its proven presence in China and its technological leadership in Mobility baseband as well as Aero antenna terminals for IFC,” said Mr. Zhou Hong, General Manager Air Esurfing. “We see in Gilat the perfect partner to open the door for IFC in the domestic Chinese market and are excited about the joint opportunity.”

“Gilat is honored to have been selected by Air Esurfing, a key player in the domestic Chinese IFEC market, to jointly deliver on the promise of high quality connectivity for airline passengers throughout China,” said Jun Xiang, Gilat China General Manager. “China is a strategic market for Gilat and as such we have taken a key role in the development of HTS broadband over the last two years, with deployment of our multi-service platform to address both fixed and mobility applications. We are committed to the Chinese market and in particular to the Chinese in-flight entertainment and connectivity (IFEC) market, and continue to seek additional Chinese as well as international players to partner in this mission, and are in discussion with several such players.”

Located in Beijing, Air Esurfing (ARE) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Media Group, dedicated to provide IFEC services to airlines. ARE has rich operational experiences on in-flight entertainment and the most influential China domestic operator in providing high-end in-flight entertainment, internet access, and digital media services to passengers.

ARE has a wide scope of services aimed at meeting airlines’ and passengers’ variety and personalized multi-media entertainment experiences, which include: in-flight internet connectivity, airborne satellite communications, cabin networks, IFEC engineering integration, integrated network operation center, advertising, in-flight movie and TV and copyrights, flight destination service, digital commerce, games, social media and an integrated technology and operational solution.

The company is based in China and targets global markets. At the end of 2016 Air Esurfing and its parent company own over 90% market share in China aviation digital media sector. The company has major market share in traditional media services at airports, high-speed railway, long distance buses, as well as exclusive licenses to operate WiFi access service on tens of thousands buses, trains and many railway stations. The company created aviation media network in major airports like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as well as 3,000 flight routes of AirChina, ChinaEastern, ChinaSouthern and several other airlines. This has created a unified sky-ground mobility internet access and commercial operation.

Air Media Group (Air Media) is a focused technology company aimed at creating a super service platform that integrates long distance passenger transportation resource, communications network, entertainment contents and O2O service.

The group’s business includes long distance travel passenger portal; build and operate WiFi networks in buses, trains, and airplanes; providing titles of movie and TV programs, copyright trading and advertising. It has several subsidiaries that cover those businesses and ARE is the one dedicated to IFEC.

Air Media has signed up contracts to build and operate on-bus WiFi network and deliver entertainment service with over 1,400 long distance bus companies that carry 4.5 billion passengers per year with over 200,000 buses. Air Media has signed up contracts to build and operate on-train WiFi networks and deliver entertainment service with 8 leading regional railway operators that serve 1.5 billion passengers per year.

Gilat Satellite Networks Ltd. is a leading global provider of satellite-based broadband communications. With 30 years of experience, we design and manufacture cutting-edge ground segment equipment, and provide comprehensive solutions and end-to-end services, powered by our innovative technology. Delivering high value competitive solutions, our portfolio comprises of a cloud based Very Small Aperture Terminal (VSAT) network platform, high-speed modems, high performance on-the-move antennas and high efficiency, high power Solid State Amplifiers (SSPA) and Block Upconverters (BUC).

Gilat’s comprehensive solutions support multiple applications with a full portfolio of products to address key applications including broadband access, cellular backhaul, enterprise, in-flight connectivity, maritime, trains, defense and public safety, all while meeting the most stringent service level requirements.

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