London-based Inmarsat has won approval from Belgium’s radio-communications regulator (BIPT) to install ground repeaters for its European Aviation Network (EAN), and providing crucial links for passengers and users of its in-flight broadband connectivity.
France, Germany and the UK have already given permission for the repeater stations but Inmarsat needs about 300 of these ‘Complementary Ground Component’ repeaters to provide a Europe-wide service. Deutsche Telekom is Inmarsat’s partner responsible for building out the ground system.
Inmarsat will install two units in Belgium (at Genk and Sint Pieters).
Inmarsat was first issued its permit to operate in Belgium back in 2016 but this was challenged (by ViaSat of California, Eutelsat and Panasonic Aviation). Various bouts of litigation have followed, and this latest update by BIPT can still be appealed against, according to reports.