Viasat struck a long-term agreement with Deutsche Telekom to deliver in-flight connectivity through the European Aviation Network (EAN), an initiative it previously opposed and attempted to block.

In a statement, Viasat explained the agreement with Deutsche Telekom reflected its commitment to EAN, which combines S-band satellite services with a complementary ground component network to deliver in-flight broadband connectivity.

EAN was revealed by Deutsche Telekom, Nokia and Inmarsat in 2015, the latter of which is now a Viasat subsidiary.

Prior to its Inmarsat takeover, Viasat opposed the service and requested European regulators prevent its deployment.

It claimed Inmarsat breached the terms of a licence issued by UK regulator Ofcom by deploying satellite-based mobile networks for in-flight broadband. 

In announcing the deal with Deutsche Telekom, Viasat stated it now believes EAN “is a unique example of European technological and regulatory leadership” allowing travellers in the continent to use high-bandwidth broadband during flights. 

The company said more than 140 million passengers have had the opportunity to connect in-flight through EAN since 2019 and the service is now available on 290 aircrafts. 

VP for in-flight and connectivity services at Deutsche Telekom David Fox said its agreement with Viasat marks “a significant milestone for the continuation of EAN”.