Fly high in the sky with free Qantas Wi-Fi

Fly high in the sky with free Qantas Wi-Fi

Not content with providing its passengers access to HBO on its in-flight entertainment system, Qantas has announced that it will be harnessing the power of the NBN to bring high-speed Wi-Fi to all of its domestic flights from early next year at no added cost.

In a partnership with global broadband provider ViaSat, which currently provides in-flight internet to almost 500 U.S. commercial aircraft, Qantas' Wi-Fi service promises to produce speeds up to "10 times faster than conventional on-board Wi-Fi," which should be more than enough bandwidth to stream Netflix, live sports and much more.

The airline will be performing in-flight Wi-Fi trials at the end of the year, retrofitting a single Qantas Boeing 737 aircraft with new and advanced modems and antennas capable of receiving its ViaSat's satellite signal, with a full roll-out across its domestic fleet of A330s and B737s planned for early 2017.

Steaming on a jet plane

"Bringing high-speed Wi-Fi to the domestic aviation market has been an ambition of ours for a long time and we now have access to the right technology to make it happen," said Qantas CEO Alan Joyce.

"The recent launch of NBNs satellite has opened up new opportunities that we plan to take advantage of with ViaSat's help," said Joyce, also stating that the service "will give Qantas customers download speeds in the air similar to what they're used to on the ground."

Qantas stated that it is also looking into the possibility of bringing high-speed Wi-Fi to its international and regional fleet.

This is not the first time that Qantas has announced in-flight Wi-Fi trials, with its 2012 trials scrapped due to an apparent lack of interest from passengers.

Stephen Lambrechts
Senior Journalist, Phones and Entertainment

Stephen primarily covers phones and entertainment for TechRadar's Australian team, and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming in both print and online for over a decade. He's obsessed with smartphones, televisions, consoles and gaming PCs, and has a deep-seated desire to consume all forms of media at the highest quality possible. 

He's also likely to talk a person’s ear off at the mere mention of Android, cats, retro sneaker releases, travelling and physical media, such as vinyl and boutique Blu-ray releases. Right now, he's most excited about QD-OLED technology, The Batman and Hellblade 2: Senua's Saga.