Ever been told that you have to turn off your device during a flight, or told to use ‘aeroplane mode’ while on a flight? Well those days might be over, as Telstra begin testing 4G data connection for the flight from Sydney to Melbourne.

Telstra’s project named ‘skinet’ (good pun) is to provide 4G coverage in domestic flights.  They currently have four data locations that can provide coverage for most of the path from Sydney to Melbourne, reaching speeds of 15 Mbps.  The network will need to be connected to the on board wifi for the flyers to use it.

Regarding speed, Telstra’s Executive Director of Networks, Mike Wright said

We were able to successfully establish and maintain data connections, achieving a maximum data throughput of 15 Mbps, with an average throughput around 10 Mbps.

Wright has stated that if tests conducted later this year are positive, then they may consider setting up a network for all domestic flights.  This means that commercial availability is far off, but is a step into the future of flight.

Source: AusBT.
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It says ‘most of the path’ from SYD to MEL. I wonder what area of the flightpath, in these tests is not yet covered?

Also, for these tests, were they trying to do gate to gate, or the standard 40 or so minutes mid flight use of PED?


I wonder how much Telstra will charge to use this service