SatCom W-IFE

The W-IFE solution allows aircraft passengers to connect personal and/or airline issued mobile devices to a wireless network on-board the aircraft to allow streaming of entertainment content from an on-board server via wireless access points positioned throughout the cabin. The passenger accesses the service and content via either a mobile application or a browser installed on the connected device.


The W-IFE system is designed to work on both disconnected and connected (satcom) aircraft. Where used with a connected aircraft, the W-IFE uses the same onboard hardware as the satcom solution, which provides the benefit of a single set of hardware for W-IFE/satcom.

The system consists of a combination of on-board hardware, on-board software and software off the aircraft (Content Management System, Synchronization Tools) that enable ease of updating the content on the aircraft plus returning transaction and analytical data from the aircraft to the operator, providing real or near-real time system usage and health data.

The list of airlines taking up the service is ever growing, including: Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), Embraer Legacy Jets, Qantas, Finnair, Zetta Jet and American Airlines.



Ongoing development includes specific design work as well as upgraded functionality, including next-generation DRM (Digital Rights Management) to support next generation devices, content security and functions such as multiple audio tracks and dynamic subtitles to assist hard-of-hearing passengers. Integration of popular third-party products associated with the travel industry (via API) is to be considered for future development. In the medium to longer term, the vision (and value) is a product that enables connectivity, entertainment and information across the entire journey, allowing airlines to better service their customers, to raise additional revenue streams and to operate their businesses more effectively with the collection and distribution of near real-time data.

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 project partners are ESA, Viasat Antenna Systems SA, Viasat Ireland  (Formerly Arconics)