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

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.