On-board WiFi: soft launch is underway

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Old Feb 18, 19, 4:19 am   -   Wikipost
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Onboard wifi is being progessively introduced to both BA's long and shorthaul fleets and it is being marketed as Highlife Connect. This thread is to track the rollout

See post 123 for BA's FAQ on the new system.

Longhaul aircraft With WiFi fitted
A380 - 4 Aircraft

G-XLEA, G-XLEG, G-XLEH, G-XLEI

747 (Super Hi-J) - 17 Aircraft

G-CIVF, G-CIVH, G-CIVI, G-CIVR, G-CIVS, G-CIVV, G-CIVW, G-CIVX, G-CIVY, G-CIVZ
G-BYGA, G-BYGB, G-BYGC, G-BYGD, G-BYGE, G-BYGF, G-BYGG

777-200 (4 Class) - 23 Aircraft

​​​​​​G-VIIA, G-VIIC, G-VIID, G-VIIE, G-VIIF, G-VIIG, G-VIIH, G-VIIJ, G-VIIK, G-VIIL, G-VIIM, G-VIIN, G-VIIS, G-VIIV, G-VIIW, G-VIIY
G-YMMJ, G-YMMK, G-YMML, G-YMMN, G-YMMO, G-YMMP
G-RAES

​​​​​​777-200 (3 Class) - 12 Aircraft

G-VIIU, G-VIIX
G-YMMA, G-YMMB, G-YMMC, G-YMMD, G-YMME, G-YMMF, G-YMMR, G-YMMS, G-YMMT, G-YMMU

777-300 - 7 Aircraft

G-STBA, G-STBB, G-STBC, G-STBD, G-STBE, G-STBG, G-STBL

Long haul aircraft planned NOT to have WiFi fitted


BA have decided to not fit WiFi to the aircraft listed below. Some of the aircraft are due to be retired from the fleet over the next 2 years. This is thought to be part of the reason for not fitting them with WiFi

747 (Mid-J) - 16 Aircraft

G-BNLN, G-BNLY
G-CIVA, G-CIVB, G-CIVC, G-CIVD, G-CIVE, G-CIVJ, G-CIVK, G-CIVL, G-CIVM, G-CIVN, G-CIVO, G-CIVP, G-CIVT, G-CIVU

747 (Super Hi-J) - 1 Aircraft

G-CIVG

777-200 (4 Class) - 3 Aircraft

G-ZZZA, G-ZZZB, G-ZZZC
Longhaul aircraft still to be fitted with WiFi

WiFi installation on the remaining longhaul aircraft in operation is expected to be completed in 2020. Dates shown below are roughly when each aircraft are planned to return to service having undergone WiFi installation. Aircraft are listed firstly by type, then listed by planned return to service date.

Information shown may subject to change and is based on info posted in this thread


A380

G-XLEB - March (Currently being fitted in Manila)
G-XLEC - 13 May
G-XLEJ - 18 June
G-XLED - 18 August
G-XLEE - 24 October
G-XLEK - 29 November
G-XLEF - February 2020
G-XLEL - 2020

777-200 (4 Class)

G-YMMH - 13 May
G-YMMG - 23 May
G-VIIB - 30 June
G-YMMI - 13 July

777-200 (3 Class)

G-VIIO - 17 March
G-VIIP - 8 April
G-VIIR - 30 April
G-VIIT - 24 October

​​​​​​777-300

G-STBI - 2 March (Currently at CWL)
G-STBK - 18 June
G-STBH - 27 November
G-STBF - 2020
G-STBJ - 2020

787-8
All expected to be fitted in 2020

787-9

G-ZBKI - 12 March
G-ZBKJ - 14 April
G-ZBKK - 23 April
G-ZBKH - 2 May
G-ZBKL - 3 July
G-ZBKM - 12 July
G-ZBKG - 20 July
G-ZBKN - 28 July
G-ZBKO - 20 August
G-ZBKP - 22 November
G-ZBKA - 2020
G-ZBKB - 2020
G-ZBKC - 2020
G-ZBKD - 2020
G-ZBKE - 2020
G-ZBKF - 2020
G-ZBKR - 2020
G-ZBKS - 2020

For a full list click here: spreadsheet.

Short haul aircraft currently with Highlife Connect available to passengers:
  • See post #170: There are at least 71 short haul aircraft that have WiFI installed. Testing of this new service will commence in December 2018 followed by full rollout by summer 2019. There will be no WiFi available on Scandinavian sectors until 2020. More info here: http://m.atwonline.com/ife/ean-ready...ritish-airways
Aircraft with WiFi fitted and Enabled*
Aircraft listed have had their WiFi enabled for testing purposes.

A319 - 2 Aircraft

G-EOUA
G-EUPP

A320 (CEO) - 9 Aircraft

G-EUUG, G-EUUK, G-EUUK, G-EUUM, G-EUUN, G-EUUP
G-EUYE
G-TTOB, G-TTOE
Shorthaul Aircraft NOT planned to receive WiFi
​​​​​​​
​​​​​​​
BA plan to withdraw a number of their A319 aircraft over the next two years. As a result the aircraft listed below will not be fitted with WiFi

A319 - 30 Aircraft

G-EUOB to I
G-EUPA to K, G-EUPW
G-DBCA-H, G-DBCJ, G-DBCK

​​​​​​​You can track these aircraft via sites such as thebasource.com and flightradar24.

The table below shows (more info in posts #8 and #11) the current cost, which is divided into 2 bands according to whether you need the bandwidth required for streaming videos.

Basic
  • 1 hour: £4.99
  • 4 hour2: £10.99
  • Full flight: £14.99


Fast
  • 1 hour: £7.99
  • 4 hour2: £17.99
  • Full flight: £23.99
From 26th April 2018 until September 2018 Visa were sponsoring a free 1 hour of basic service (see post #198) however that offer has ended.

Background information:
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Old Mar 26, 18, 2:33 pm
  #166  
 
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Originally Posted by Schind View Post
There are more. G-STBL has it fitted (mentioned on Twitter on Feb 25th that it was fitted 'a few weeks ago').
CIVW, CIVY and a couple of the BYG's have had major maintenance recently which you'd assume would include wifi fitting.

The problem is that BA don't announce which planes have it until you're on board so you're relying on tweets, messages on here or hoping someone at BA Enginerring comes along with a list of aircraft that have it.
Sure there are probably a few that might be under the FT radar but I'm not optimistic that "90% of fleet" will have wifi within the next 8 months.

Anyone know where the wiki is?
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Old Mar 26, 18, 9:18 pm
  #167  
 
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Originally Posted by Schind View Post
The problem is that BA don't announce which planes have it until you're on board so you're relying on tweets
I spotted on Saturday that a few flights were showing that WiFi was available on the main airport departure boards. Don't think it was showing in the lounge, though. So a little bit more warning, but not much!
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Old Apr 2, 18, 6:30 pm
  #168  
 
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Originally Posted by Calum View Post
Sure there are probably a few that might be under the FT radar but I'm not optimistic that "90% of fleet" will have wifi within the next 8 months.

Anyone know where the wiki is?
Does anyone know if there is a rollout plan, i.e. X aircraft to be fitted of Y type in Z month?
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Old Apr 4, 18, 1:18 pm
  #169  
 
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Originally Posted by rockflyertalk View Post
Did the 777 ex-LGW G-VIIX that came back from Singapore refurb get WiFi fitted? This would make sense but maybe not if itís not done in SIN...
At least some, if not all the 772s are having wifi fitted at Shannon. VIIS is there now getting it done. I've also been told the 788s will be fitted there in due course.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 4:03 pm
  #170  
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Originally Posted by Naz1 View Post
Quite a lot of the short haul aircraft have actually been fitted, 2 Wi-Fi receivers on the bottom of the aircraft. The delay will be due to CAA radio licensing or the Wi-Fi ground towers that are set to be used.
So far 71 shorthaul aircraft have had WiFI installed. BA is currently awaiting approval from the CAA to activate the system.
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Old Apr 5, 18, 4:34 pm
  #171  
 
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Originally Posted by Scotflyer80 View Post
BA is currently awaiting approval from the CAA to activate the system.
Is there a source for this? If planes already fly with the antenna mounted, then I would have expected that the aerodynamic, interference and whatever else testing would have already been carried out, activated or not?

Considering that the European Aviation Network was only "completed" on February, 5th (Inmarsat, Deutsche Telekom complete European Aviation Network - SpaceNews.com) I am personally not holding my breath for a quick entry into commercial operation, even if there was imminent CAA approval if that is indeed outstanding - "Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom said EAN service is scheduled to start during the first half of this year, a delay from previous schedules that anticipated a service start during the second half of last year."

Which is probably part of the reason why there is such a big gap between BA's announcement and reality...
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Old Apr 5, 18, 5:17 pm
  #172  
 
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WiFi is delicious
Unfortunately there was no wifi on the A380
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Last edited by olouie; Apr 6, 18 at 11:34 am
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Old Apr 5, 18, 7:16 pm
  #173  
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Boeing 747-400

G-CIVX

G-CIVS

G-CIVR

G-BYGC

G-IVV

G-IVY

G-IVW



Boeing 777-300

G-STBE
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Old Apr 5, 18, 7:38 pm
  #174  
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Originally Posted by Quark999 View Post
Is there a source for this? If planes already fly with the antenna mounted, then I would have expected that the aerodynamic, interference and whatever else testing would have already been carried out, activated or not?

Considering that the European Aviation Network was only "completed" on February, 5th (Inmarsat, Deutsche Telekom complete European Aviation Network - SpaceNews.com) I am personally not holding my breath for a quick entry into commercial operation, even if there was imminent CAA approval if that is indeed outstanding - "Inmarsat and Deutsche Telekom said EAN service is scheduled to start during the first half of this year, a delay from previous schedules that anticipated a service start during the second half of last year."

Which is probably part of the reason why there is such a big gap between BA's announcement and reality...
https://www.mobileeurope.co.uk/press...belgian-ruling

https://runwaygirlnetwork.com/2018/0...ourt-decision/

​​I don’t believe the system can be used by BA until the cases are settled.
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Last edited by Scotflyer80; Apr 5, 18 at 7:52 pm
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Old Apr 6, 18, 8:44 am
  #175  
 
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Those are competition challenges to the original process for the allocation of the frequencies though - for the UK that's dealt with by Ofcom, not the CAA. It looks like Viasat is challenging in every single European country with every single regulator - UK and France's approval still stands, but the Belgian one now seems to be in limbo. Admittedly I didn't know about this latest Belgian decision, but that still doesn't sound to me as if BA is actually waiting for CAA approval to switch anything on. It sounds more like the entire EAN project is being delayed, both by the slow rollout of the ground stations (now complete as of February 5th), and secondly by the competition challenges for the frequency allocations launched by Viasat, even though Inmarsat/Deutsche Telekom are adamant that those challenges are not leading to delays.

I suppose there would be an option of using only the satellite links over the affected regions but I don't know whether that's technically feasible and certainly would lead to further delays.

While regulators Ofcom and ARCEP have approved the use of the CGCs in the UK and France respectively, regulators including Ireland’s ComReg are still investigating.
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Old Apr 6, 18, 10:27 am
  #176  
 
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Originally Posted by Scotflyer80 View Post

So far 71 shorthaul aircraft have had WiFI installed. BA is currently awaiting approval from the CAA to activate the system.
I would also very much like to know where this information came from, and possible the breakdown of aircraft type if you have it? Thanks!
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Old Apr 6, 18, 10:37 am
  #177  
 
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what about long hall? I submit that on shorthaul by its very nature it's far less important to have connectivity then long haul...
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Old Apr 6, 18, 11:10 am
  #178  
 
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Originally Posted by aceman View Post
what about long hall? I submit that on shorthaul by its very nature it's far less important to have connectivity then long haul...
I think this thread is covering both long-haul as well as short-haul and as such is sometimes a bit confusing as they are really two completely separate systems and rollouts.

So I think in summary:
- Long-Haul - System live and rollout underway with Gogo 2KU. As the system is new there are certain reliability issues with the physical antennas at least on Delta (https://runwaygirlnetwork.com/2018/0...bility-issues/). Also limited to certain aircraft types as the supplemental type certificates for the installation of the antennas has not been obtained yet for some - and I think in some cases the antenna design hasn't even been finalised. According to https://www.gogoair.com/learning-cen...?download=true at the moment there is no STC for A380s and 787s yet, so you won't see long-haul Wifi on those for a while, although I don't know how old that document is.
- Short-Haul - Using European Aviation Network (Inmarsat / Deutsche Telekom) with IAG as the launch customer and not active yet. System ground station rollout complete, satellite backhaul active and frequency allocation obtained from all European regulators, but competition challenges from Viasat over allocation process. Also, system was declared "completed" only two months ago, behind schedule. According to ScotFlyer80, antennas have been installed on 71 aircraft and they are flying with them - but we don't quite know the source for that information.

So once the EAN is active and definitely not impeded by Viasat's competition challenge or indeed some other technical issue (we don't know what the system being "complete" really means, especially with BA being the first commerical customer) there *could* be one big-bang shorthaul switch-on, if there are indeed that many antennas already flying. Those antenna installations must have been going on for a long time "under the radar" (pardon the pun), and at a much higher rate than the long-haul installations. Given that there are TWO antennas involved (one for the S-Band satellite and one for the 4G LTE technology) that's somewhat surprising, but then there are far more planes to get through, and perhaps the installation isn't as involved as for Gogo's antennas.

Last edited by Quark999; Apr 6, 18 at 11:19 am Reason: IAG as a whole is the launch customer
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Old Apr 6, 18, 11:18 am
  #179  
 
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This link is interesting about the specifics of the antenna locations for the EAN:
https://www.inmarsataviation.com/con...ionNetwork.pdf

It's actually three antennas, one on top and two at the bottom of the aircraft - they are apparently "low drag" and look far less complex than Gogo's 2KU antennas which operate in much higher frequency spectrum, so while there seems to be a lot of them they are probably indeed much quicker to install, which is the whole point for single-aisle shorthaul fleets.
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Old Apr 6, 18, 2:49 pm
  #180  
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I think I read yesterday that all shorthaul Airbuses are now fitted.
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