Qatar Airways announced that it 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 (CRA) 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 meters above sea level.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “In another first for the MENA region, Qatar Airways passengers will be able to enjoy uninterrupted internet connectivity from the moment they step on board 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 on board 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 on board 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 on board use of mobile GSM services and SMS when the aircraft is below 3,000 meters.