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Safran Partners with SKYFive to Commercialize 5G Air-to-Ground in China

Sep 28,2022

Safran Passenger Innovations announces a partnership with SKYFive on the integration of Air-to-Ground (ATG) to Safran Passenger Innovations¡¯ RAVE Platform, heralding the Gigabit age in aviation.

SKYFive provides true broadband connectivity services and technology to airlines and other aircraft operators in key aviation markets worldwide, based on its patented Air-To-Ground (A2G) solution that leverages standard mobile network components.

5G ATG is a solution specific to China, world¡¯s second largest airline passenger market. As a benefit of Safran Passenger Innovations¡¯ RAVE architecture, SKYFive will complement the system with its ATG solution. It is focused to meet the requirements of the Chinese market and maintain interoperability with other standards based on ATG networks worldwide such as in Europe and the Middle East. The 5G ATG solution leverages SKYFive¡¯s components from best-in-class aviation and telecommunications vendors, in contrast to proprietary Satellite systems of the past.

This announcement follows the creation of SkyFive Inflight Connectivity (Beijing) Co. Ltd., an independent sister company dedicated to the Chinese market, and a successful demonstration of a prototype 5G ATG system to Chinese airlines, which both happened in 2021. Together, SKYFive and Safran Passenger Innovations are now taking the next step in commercializing the 5G ATG technology in China, where abundant frequency spectrum is provided for deploying inflight connectivity services.

Safran Passenger Innovations¡¯ cooperation falls firmly within the company¡¯s strategic roadmap focused on expanding digital solutions within the aviation industry:

¡°Safran Passenger Innovations creates connected inflight experiences for today and the future, and broadband Internet access is a cornerstone of that. Developing a 5G ATG solution based on the SKYFive technology will put us right at the forefront of technology and customer services in the Chinese market¡±, said Sebastien Weber, Chairman of Safran Passenger Innovations.

¡°The performance that we demonstrated in 2021 is mind-boggling and shows that Gigabit speeds towards the aircraft are achievable. Teaming up with Safran Passenger Innovations to commercialize our solution and services for the demanding Chinese market puts us together in a very strong local position¡°, said Thorsten Robrecht SkyFive CEO.

According to the latest forecasts of major aircraft manufacturers for 2021, the civil aviation market affected by the epidemic is about to recover. Boeing estimates that the world will need 19,000 civil aircraft worth $3.2 trillion over the next 10 years. According to COMAC' s latest annual report, by 2040, the global passenger aircraft fleet is expected to reach 45,397 aircraft, and China's fleet size will reach 9,957 aircraft, accounting for 22% of the global passenger aircraft fleet, becoming the world's largest single aviation market.

Under this background, 4th Annual Connected Aircraft China Congress will take place in Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province on November 25th and 26th 2022. Participants of the forum include domestic and foreign aircraft OEMs, airlines, telecom operators, satellite communication and ATG solution providers, system integrators, aircraft retrofitting, aviation digitalization and other industry experts and enterprise representatives will come to the forum to discuss hot topics in the industry, play the advantages of all parties, and jointly contribute to the development of intelligent civil aviation.

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