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 Jul 31, 18, 1:18 am
  #256  
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G-BYGA now has WiFi installed and itís up and running.
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Old Aug 5, 18, 4:28 pm
  #257  
 
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I flew SEA to LHR on Friday (747-400), and WiFi was available. I was surprised at the cost, especially when compared to Emirates at $1 for 600MB. I’ve used the Emirates WiFi before and it was fine; I felt the BA offering was too expensive.

Or am I just tight?
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Old Aug 5, 18, 4:49 pm
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Originally Posted by HighwayToHEL View Post
I flew SEA to LHR on Friday (747-400), and WiFi was available. I was surprised at the cost, especially when compared to Emirates at $1 for 600MB. Iíve used the Emirates WiFi before and it was fine; I felt the BA offering was too expensive.

Or am I just tight?
It's hard to compare because Emirates is priced based on data usage but BA is priced based on a time (I have yet to read the T&C's to see if it is truly unlimited for the amount of time paid or if they throttle you down once you've used x up).

For me personally I'd probably use up 500MB in about 10/20 minutes if the speed was fast enough but again it's really down to each person, I guess if you just wanted to quickly check your emails then £4.99 is probably a bit much.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 12:53 am
  #259  
 
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Originally Posted by Calum View Post
I guess if you just wanted to quickly check your emails then £4.99 is probably a bit much.
The free hour is still available on BA. I wonder if they'll offer it when the short haul wifi starts - I suppose it's down to whether Visa or any other advertiser wants to pay for it.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 9:55 am
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Passed G-STBF yesterday and it had no antenna, yet tis on the wiki? Should I have gone to specsavers?
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Old Aug 6, 18, 11:49 am
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Originally Posted by skipness1E View Post
Passed G-STBF yesterday and it had no antenna, yet tis on the wiki? Should I have gone to specsavers?
I checked the edit history, looks like I mistakenly added it when I was adding TBB and a few 772s. I'll go through the wiki and try to update it/keep it as accurate as possible.

For reference here is a fitted 77W
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Old Aug 6, 18, 12:34 pm
  #262  
 
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Originally Posted by yankees368 View Post
It hasn't been launched commercially because BA is the sole airline signed up to use the system and it hasn't launched it yet. I think it's safe to assume that if it isn't even in a beta trial at this point that there's some sort of technical issue slowing things down for now.
It could be capacity. The Telstar 19 Vantage that was launched a couple of weeks ago is supposed to be on-line around the end of August, and is supposed to provide "airborne Internet services for aircraft traveling on trans-Atlantic routes between North America and Europe."
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Old Aug 13, 18, 2:56 pm
  #263  
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Here are a few updates to be added to the wiki post
Aircraft fitted with WiFi

G-BYGA - Returned from CWL 27JUL
G-BYGE - Returned from CWL 05AUG
G-VIIE - Returned from SNN 13AUG
G-VIIJ - Returned from CWL 03AUG
G-YMMF - Returned from CWL 17JUL

Aircraft confirmed as not fitted with WiFi

G-CIVD
G-VIIN

Aircraft currently undergoing WiFi fitting

G-VIIF - Arrived in SNN 13AUG
G-VIIL - Arrived CWL 03AUG

G-VIIL is expected to return from CWL 16AUG. G-VIIM expected in CWL same afternoon.





Last edited by Scotflyer80; Aug 15, 18 at 8:26 am
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Old Aug 15, 18, 11:58 am
  #264  
 
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Originally Posted by chucko View Post
It could be capacity. The Telstar 19 Vantage that was launched a couple of weeks ago is supposed to be on-line around the end of August, and is supposed to provide "airborne Internet services for aircraft traveling on trans-Atlantic routes between North America and Europe."
Huh? What does this Telstar satellite have to do with BA? Just because someone is launching a satellite for airborne internet services somewhere doesn't mean that BA must be waiting for it?

BA have launched transatlantic Wifi - they are using Gogo's 2Ku which AFAIK is fairly new, fast and doesn't really have large-scale capacity problems (yet)? Gogo 2Ku uses a variety of satellites, including at least 11 SES satellites, not just one that looks more like it is intended to deliver fixed broadband.

What hasn't launched is European Wifi on short-haul flights - that is not a capacity issue either because it actually uses ground-based infrastructure provided by Deutsche Telekom, in addition to satellite backhaul by Inmarsat. That very feature is in fact the major bone of contention in the legal battle with competitor Viasat, who had proposed an exclusively satellite-based solution.
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Old Aug 15, 18, 2:59 pm
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Originally Posted by Quark999 View Post
Huh? What does this Telstar satellite have to do with BA? Just because someone is launching a satellite for airborne internet services somewhere doesn't mean that BA must be waiting for it?
Indeed. Inmarsat launched their satellite for the EAN in June 2017. I have no idea if they only need one or more are planned.

https://www.inmarsat.com/press-relea...ation-network/
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Old Aug 15, 18, 3:09 pm
  #266  
 
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And I've just read the Belgian regulator has given permission for the EAN ground stations after Viasat appealed the original decision in 2016.

https://www.telecompaper.com/news/in...LgSaKI.twitter
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Old Aug 15, 18, 3:17 pm
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Interesting! Perhaps that is the development they've been waiting for? It is never explained very well, but I got the impression that the satellite communications were just a fallback for when no ground connectivity was available, and as such a single satellite with 300 spot beams is probably enough capacity for now.

But it's also interesting that this article is written as if there aren't any ground stations yet, certainly in Belgium - I was surprised by the speeds at which Deutsche Telekom supposedly rolled out 300 sites all over Europe, and I have a sneaking suspicion that the system wasn't that "ready" when it was declared "ready", and specifically that they might have largely relied on the satellite backhaul while they were/are still building ground sites.

That might be a reason for BA holding off a while longer, there might have been technical issues with the system or some sites, or BA want a "big bang" approach. We can but wait...
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Old Aug 15, 18, 3:58 pm
  #268  
 
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Using iPass account ...

Flew back from LAX last week on a 747 with Wi-fi (no announcement from the crew) and used the free hour before landing.

i have a global iPass Wi-fi account bundled with my HSBC Mastercard and it supposedly works (I.e gives unpaid access) on GoGo and FlyNet plus the system used by United and JetBlue so I tried it on BAís system but couldnít see how to put in the details for roaming wi-fi accounts.

Has anyone had any success with iPass or is BA intending to lock the system down to credit card payers only ?
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Old Aug 16, 18, 3:36 am
  #269  
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Originally Posted by Robespierre View Post
Has anyone had any success with iPass or is BA intending to lock the system down to credit card payers only ?
I could not connect with my corporate iPass app/account when I tried it.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 10:41 am
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Originally Posted by HighwayToHEL View Post
I flew SEA to LHR on Friday (747-400), and WiFi was available. I was surprised at the cost, especially when compared to Emirates at $1 for 600MB. Iíve used the Emirates WiFi before and it was fine; I felt the BA offering was too expensive.

Or am I just tight?
I have used EK's Wifi a few times flying from LHR to DXB and back and it can be painfully slow or not in service for long periods of time (depending on the geographical position of the plane). I have yet to try BA's but it can't be that bad.
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