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China’s First Aircraft With Homegrown High-Speed Satellite Internet System Makes Maiden Flight

China's first aircraft with a homegrown high-speed satellite internet system successfully completed its maiden flight on Tuesday, according to media reports. Passengers onboard could access internet services at speeds higher than 100 megabytes at a height over 10,000 meters.

The satellite system is based on XstreamSAT, which was built using China's first and only high throughput satellite (HTS) in Ka band frequency, Zhongxing 16. Aircraft internet is traditionally powered by Ku band satellites, which mean much slower connection speeds. 

Qingdao Airlines flight QW9771 took off from Qingdao Liuting International Airport at 4:46 pm and landed at Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport at 7:21 pm.

A live broadcast was also held during the flight, marking the first live in-flight broadcast in China's civil aviation history. Industry analysts said an ecosystem could be developed based on high-speed in-flight internet and could include e-commerce, new retail and entertainment services. That could help reshape China's civil aviation industry in the post-virus period.

The HTS resources are provided by the China Satellite Communication Co. In addition to the aviation sector, the firm is also able to provide satellite-based internet services in other areas such as energy, navigation and emergency response.

*This article originally appeared on the Global Times website.

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