Qatar Airways is the first airline in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA) to provide gate-to-gate Internet connectivity onboard. A decision by Qatar’s Communications Regulatory Authority will allow the provision of Internet service onboard aircraft at all altitudes. Previously, Internet connection was only permitted when an aircraft was higher than 3,000 metres above sea level.
Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, said: “In another first for the MENA region, Qatar Airways passengers will be able to enjoy uninterrupted Internet connectivity from the moment they step onboard a Qatar Airways flight. This is another significant enhancement to our award-winning levels of service that our passengers around the globe have come to appreciate. We look forward to welcoming passengers onboard and helping them stay connected throughout the flight.”
Approval by the CRA means that Qatar will be the first country in the Middle East and North Africa region to provide gate-to-gate Internet connectivity onboard aircraft. It also reflects CRA’s alignment with Qatar’s high rate of technology adoption across various sectors, particularly those affecting transport and communication that are strategic to Qatar’s future development and economic growth.
Improvements in technology and developments in global technical standards now ensure that onboard Internet service does not cause harmful interference to either aircraft operations or land-based public mobile networks. However to avoid any interference to aircraft and land-based mobile services, restrictions still apply to the onboard use of mobile GSM services and SMS when the aircraft is below 3,000 metres.
While onboard, passengers can continue to enjoy Qatar Airways’ in-flight entertainment system, Oryx One, which offers passengers up to 4,000 entertainment options from the latest blockbuster movies, TV box sets, music, games and much more. Passengers flying on Qatar Airways flights served by its B777, B787, A350, A380, and select A320 and A330 aircraft can also stay in touch with their friends and family around the world by using the award-winning airline’s onboard wi-fi service.