Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Emirates | Skywards
Reload this Page >

Is there a more pathetic inflight Wifi than EK??

Is there a more pathetic inflight Wifi than EK??

    Hide Wikipost
Old Mar 10, 20, 5:40 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
 
Last edit by: BadoRas
Wiki Link
It has been widely discussed on this thread that the Wi-Fi service on some A380 airframes is dismal. One of our Ambassadors - thijsseh - has suggested recording air frame registrations and if the Wi-Fi is good or bad. For ease of reference, grateful if you could add your experience in the wiki in the following format.

Airframe / Registration / Experience - ( Example: A380 / A6-EVG / Good)

A380 / A6-EVG / Good
A380 / A6-EUR / Good
A380 / A6-EVC / Good
A380 / A6-EUH / Good
A380 / A6-EDR / Bad
A380 / A6-EDY / Bad
A380 / A6-EOG / Bad
A380 / A6-EOY / Bad
A380 / A6-EUY / Good
A380 / A6-EUW / Good

Print Wikipost

Old Mar 24, 15, 10:57 am
  #1  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF/KL Gold, AA LT PLT 2mm, TP Gold *G
Posts: 19,333
Is there a more pathetic inflight Wifi than EK??

OMG, how painful is trying to be productive with OnAir?? 24 hours from CPT-DXB-JFK with a frustrating Wifi that was about as fast or exciting as watching paint dry. Apparently you get what you pay for on EK. $1.00 for 500MG?? Just charge for the darn thing and reduce demand so it is actually usable for those that need or want it.

SFO777 is offline  
Old Mar 24, 15, 11:08 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 5,156
I find it's definitely an regional issue when it comes to EKs inflight wifi: it's currently entirely L-band satellite based, (456kbps a channel, 4 per plane), unlike U.S. carriers who I think lead the way with wifi, who use Air-to-Ground based links via cell towers, which is vastly superior.

For instance, whilst on EU-DXB and to a lesser extent DXB-SE Asia, I find the wi-fi to be acceptable for emails etc. That's because there is a lot of satellite coverage over Europe and the number of people using satellite internet over India and SE Asia is not so much (especially as in flight wifi over India and China is banned).

However, on CPT-DXB, flying over Africa and then JFK-DXB which uses a polar route, those two areas have relatively fewer L-band capable satellites providing coverage as traditionally those areas have had very little satellite demand, at least, not on the order of international air travellers requiring broadband (or at the least 200-300 k=Kbit connections) recently. Over polar regions there is I think just 1 satellite available. That's for all of Inmarsat's customers...!

I think it can only improve as satellites get launched - hopefully the third party connectivity suppliers can provide additional bandwidth at a greater pace than demand, or a hybrid air-ground and satellite system can be developed that operates relatively seamlessly. The delayed Global Express Ka-band system being deployed by Inmarsat which OnAir will connect to has theoretical speeds of 60 Mbit a second.

This may be one of those situations where not providing a service results in a better customer impression than actually providing something that is not up to expectations
Ashok Khanna likes this.
eternaltransit is offline  
Old Mar 24, 15, 12:19 pm
  #3  
Ambassador: Emirates Airlines
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 14,927
Yes, let's charge the little people at the back more so they won't use it. Then, us important people at the front can stream the latest "Breaking Bad".
DYKWIA is offline  
Old Mar 24, 15, 12:27 pm
  #4  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: LAX-SNA
Programs: BA Gold, AF/KL Gold, AA LT PLT 2mm, TP Gold *G
Posts: 19,333
Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
Yes, let's charge the little people at the back more so they won't use it. Then, us important people at the front can stream the latest "Breaking Bad".
Better than giving it away so it's is unusable for everyone. Should also I share my F seat as well? Maybe switch mid-flight?

eternaltransit, thanks for the technical explanation. With such limited bandwidth, it makes even less sense to give it away. AA and LH have satellite based Wifi systems, both of which work much better than EKs.
SFO777 is offline  
Old Mar 24, 15, 12:35 pm
  #5  
Ambassador: Emirates Airlines
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 14,927
Originally Posted by SFO777 View Post
Better than giving it away so it's is unusable for everyone. Should also I share my F seat as well? Maybe switch mid-flight?
.
Are you sure it was because of the number of users? I've been on this forum for a number of years, and I don't recall too many complaints about the wifi.

I experienced issues once where I could just about log in, but then I only managed to get a couple of pages loaded before it died again. This was before the "almost free" wifi. The purser reset the system a couple of times, but it just wouldn't fix it.
DYKWIA is offline  
Old Mar 24, 15, 1:58 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Preston
Programs: Skywards Silver, Miles & Bonus Gold, BD Diamond Blue
Posts: 176
Originally Posted by DYKWIA View Post
Are you sure it was because of the number of users? I've been on this forum for a number of years, and I don't recall too many complaints about the wifi.

I experienced issues once where I could just about log in, but then I only managed to get a couple of pages loaded before it died again. This was before the "almost free" wifi. The purser reset the system a couple of times, but it just wouldn't fix it.
There are certainly regional variations with regards to the speed of the connection, going over europe and the middle east seems to have more reliable speeds, of course just like any bandwidth limited service, the greater the number of users, the slower it gets. I am sure one can see the number of connected users onboard when you log in.

the fastest speed I ever experienced was on an older 777-300ER, it was older as it had the first generation ICE yet it had amazing connection speed to the point that I was on facetime video with my parents! ( J cabin was pretty empty and kept my voice down so no one else was disturbed, I promise!)
It was just before EK announced the current internet service, I remember the purser announcing that wifi internet was free for all to use during the welcome announcement, I thought I misheard!

I do wonder if there was some way of giving higher preference to J/F cabin for bandwidth speed, I seem to get the fastest speeds when travelling there instead of Y. Or is it just a case of less dense cabin hence less connected to that particular channel?
vieri_c is offline  
Old Mar 24, 15, 3:38 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 648
Used the wifi GLA - DXB - KUL last month, and from KUL - DXB on the return. Worked fine and was adequate for sending photos over Whatsapp etc.
alasdair_m is offline  
Old Mar 24, 15, 3:42 pm
  #8  
Ambassador: Emirates Airlines
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 14,927
Originally Posted by alasdair_m View Post
Used the wifi GLA - DXB - KUL last month, and from KUL - DXB on the return. Worked fine and was adequate for sending photos over Whatsapp etc.
That's always been my (limited) experience. If you're wanting to stream films, then you'll be struggling.
DYKWIA is offline  
Old Mar 24, 15, 3:52 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: PIT-SCE-AOO-PHL-NYC-WAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, Alaska MVP Gold, AA Gold
Posts: 809
i chuckle when i see 500 mb for $1 on my LAX-DXB F flight, i knew that i have no chance to hit 500 MB, especially with demand from "probably" bored & restless Y passengers. Sure enough, I hit around 200ish MB. I end up sticking with my iphone instead of laptop, due to less data.
washeelers747 is offline  
Old Mar 24, 15, 8:26 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Programs: HH Diamond, IHG Plat, GHA Black
Posts: 1,848
Originally Posted by eternaltransit View Post
I find it's definitely an regional issue when it comes to EKs inflight wifi: it's currently entirely L-band satellite based, (456kbps a channel, 4 per plane)
So taking into account transmission loss, about 1.5mbps shared by up to 400 passengers. That works out to even less bandwidth per passenger than my old 28.8kbps modem!
shuigao is offline  
Old Mar 24, 15, 11:42 pm
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Programs: FB Platinum LT, Air Berlin Gold, HK Airlines Gold, Skywards Ex-Gold :-)
Posts: 114
Originally Posted by washeelers747 View Post
i chuckle when i see 500 mb for $1 on my LAX-DXB F flight, i knew that i have no chance to hit 500 MB, especially with demand from "probably" bored & restless Y passengers. Sure enough, I hit around 200ish MB. I end up sticking with my iphone instead of laptop, due to less data.
If you feel annoyed with the bored and restless Y passengers sitting in the same plane with you, why you don't use a private jet then ?
AF 001 is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 12:42 am
  #12  
Xlr
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: San Francisco, CA
Programs: Amex Platinum, Chase Sapphire Reserve
Posts: 746
They will definitely raise prices once enough people are hooked onto it.
Xlr is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 1:50 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 5,156
Originally Posted by Xlr View Post
They will definitely raise prices once enough people are hooked onto it.
Unlikely - EK's proven strategy is to try and force their investments to become the de-facto standard when it comes to things such as in-flight offerings and trumpet it as a marketing offering. It works very well in their Y segments (the word-of-mouth for one a year travellers who instagram "I'M ON A PLANE" is incredibly): they were one of the first airlines to to put seat-back entertainment as standard across the entire fleet (and still invest heavily in it, and it shows), the first airline to allow mobile phone use (which is an utter gimmick, but think of all the SMSs that say "I'M ON A PLANE") and now to get satellite based wi-fi across the fleet. In premium classes look at the bar and the shower suite. Entirely marketing and gives a halo effect that other carriers then try and match. ICE is a big marketing tool and a good differentiating factor in leisure oriented travellers making a travel choice.

Premium travellers also do not choose an airline based on the provision of wi-fi - yet.

What we see will see I think is that, when Ka-band internet services get launched and the planes start to get multi megabit connectivity, the experience will improve. I was incorrect that all of their services are based on L-band services, the 777 fleet, which the OP was on, works on Ku-band services - his service limitation is I think due to the routes he was flying on, not on the underlying technology. Hopefully EK can do what they do to Boeing and Airbus, which is prod Inmarsat to launch satellites to give coverage over polar and African routes more quickly!

With regards to AA and LH - as an aside, I think it is interesting to note that travellers most used to wifi are US based customers whose carriers I find to have a good wifi service - their in-flight wifi services benefit from their routings and pre-existing coverage, more than the underlying technology being superior. I don't think simultaneous users really comes into it as I never see more than 10-15 people using it at a time on the A380 fleet (that statistic is not available on the 777 equipment).

I think EK is going to wait for this year when the Global Express system gets launched, market the wi-fi as free as part of the flight experience, in order for travellers to get negative impressions of carriers that charge money for it (e.g. LH's 15 USD etc. etc.), or only in F (EY). Quite nice to work on lower profit margins eh
eternaltransit is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 1:53 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 5,156
Originally Posted by washeelers747 View Post
i chuckle when i see 500 mb for $1 on my LAX-DXB F flight, i knew that i have no chance to hit 500 MB, especially with demand from "probably" bored & restless Y passengers. Sure enough, I hit around 200ish MB. I end up sticking with my iphone instead of laptop, due to less data.
As noted above - about half the flight, the wi-fi is unusable due to the lack of satellite coverage above the poles, not bored and restless Y passengers...looking at the wi-fi usage on ULH A380s, the number of concurrent users is not high (but maybe that's because they are frustrated by the speeds!) - ICE is enough to keep people moderately entertained when not sleeping...!
eternaltransit is offline  
Old Mar 25, 15, 7:06 am
  #15  
Ambassador: Emirates Airlines
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Manchester, UK
Posts: 14,927
The wifi is generally good enough for browsing the important websites such as Flyertalk and Red Issue.
DYKWIA is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: