News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Build Apps 5x Faster
For Half the Cost
Enterprise Cloud Computing

Mobile Tech
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Wi-Fi in the Sky Coming Next Year

Wi-Fi in the Sky Coming Next Year
By Mark Long

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

It likely will come as good news to travelers to know that American Airlines has announced trials for an in-flight Wi-Fi service, based on AirCell's air-to-ground network. If all goes well with American's Wi-Fi tests in January 2008 on a flight from New York to California, some 14 additional American flights will get Wi-Fi.

American Airlines is teaming with Colorado-based communications provider AirCell in the launch of an onboard Wi-Fi system on transcontinental flights early next year. The high-flying broadband service is expected to give travelers the ability to check e-mail, surf the Web, access corporate intranets, and monitor the latest news through the use of any Wi-Fi enabled laptop, PDA, or smartphone.

Of course, Americans have heard all this before, only to be disappointed. Aircraft-maker Boeing promised to bring the Internet to the skies years ago, then shut down its Connexion by Boeing business because it was unable to attract customers from an airline industry mired in economic woes.

Still, IDC research director Rena Bhattacharyya said she thinks Wi-Fi stands a much better chance of flying next year because the airlines are feeling the pressure from passengers used to obtaining instant broadband gratification.

"A far greater number of people are accustomed to getting Internet access wherever they are now," Bhattacharyya explained. "And the desire is stronger than it was just a couple of years ago," she said.

Price Considerations

The move to onboard Wi-Fi systems will certainly be welcome in the marketplace, Bhattacharyya said. "The question is whether the airlines will be able to get their pricing right," she added.

Although an official price has not yet been set for the in-flight service, AirCell executives have suggested to the media that, in theory at least, the service could be provided for as little as $10 per user on any transcontinental flight.

"To me that sounds pretty reasonable and inline with what casual Wi-Fi users are now paying," Bhattacharyya said. Moreover, business users are already accustomed "to buying a bundled service that their company pays for," as well as paying for "one-time access for under $15 per session."

Good Timing

It is not surprising that airborne Wi-Fi has suddenly become more affordable for the airlines, said IDC research manager Godfrey Chua.

"With respect to the wireless infrastructure, the pace of technological change has increased, and the cost per bit has gone down substantially from what it was just a few years back," Chua explained. "If we take a look at the traditional cellular system, in the last five years the cost of a GSM base station has come down by 50 percent."

Chua also noted that the amount of bandwidth that can be pushed over wireless frequencies is more substantial than what it used to be. "So the timing could be much better now than before."

Inaugural Deployments

AirCell's air-to-ground network will use a series of ground-based cellular towers to communicate with planes in flight. Three different antennas will be installed on the outside of each aircraft: two on the bottom and one on top.

American Airlines said it will be testing an AirCell prototype on a single transcontinental flight from New York to California beginning in January of 2008. If all goes well, then further testing will be conducted on 14 additional aircraft that fly transcontinental routes.

"We understand that broadband connectivity is important to our business customers and others who want to use their PDAs and laptops for real-time, in-flight broadband communications," said American Airlines executive vice president Dan Garton in a statement.

Tell Us What You Think

Name: is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.

 Mobile Tech
1.   Apple Stock Soars Ahead of IPhone 6
2.   HTC One M8 Windows Phone Unveiled
3.   Verizon Tops in Mobile Networks
4.   Sprint Out with Data Guns Blazing
5.   Best Buy Leaks Moto 360 Watch Info

Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions at Risk
Users: stick to apps from Google Play.
Average Rating:
Researchers Tout Battery Breakthrough
Lithium anode could triple capacity.
Average Rating:
Apple Stock Soars Ahead of IPhone 6
New products generating lots of buzz.
Average Rating:

Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Aruba Networks Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
It's not an easy job. Aruba Networks' task throughout the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas this month was to ensure thousands of attendees could connect without malicious attacks.
Chinese Hackers Nab Info on Millions of U.S. Patients
A group of Chinese hackers has stolen the personal information, including names and Social Security numbers, of about 4.5 million patients at hospitals operated by Community Health Systems.
Premier FBI Cybersquad in U.S. To Add Agents
After helping prosecutors charge Chinese army officials with stealing trade secrets from major companies and by snaring a Russian-led hacking ring, the premier FBI cyber-squad is getting a boost.

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Aruba Networks Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
It's not an easy job. Aruba Networks' task throughout the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas this month was to ensure thousands of attendees could connect without malicious attacks.
Compression, Deduplication Come to Violin Concerto 2200
Violin Memory has announced that data deduplication and compression capabilities are now available on its Concerto 2200 solution. Typically, users will experience deduplication rates between 6:1 and 10:1.
Cisco Axes 6,000 Employees in Restructuring Plan
Faced with declining profits, Cisco is laying off up to 6,000 employees in the months ahead -- a whopping 8 percent of its global workforce. That's in addition to the 4,000 jobs Cisco cut last year.

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Apple Stock Soars Ahead of iPhone 6 Launch
The imminent release of the iPhone 6 -- and maybe even an iWatch -- has sent Apple's stock soaring to new heights. Considering what else the firm could have up its sleeve -- the stratosphere may be the limit.
HTC Debuts Windows Phone Version of One M8 Smartphone
HTC is bringing the Windows Phone mobile OS to its flagship One M8 device -- the first time any mainstream flagship smartphone has been offered with a choice of operating systems.
Verizon Earns Top Rating in Mobile Network Comparison
A new report says Verizon Wireless was the top-performing U.S. cellphone service provider in the first half of 2014, on a nationwide and state-by-state basis, as well as in metro areas.

NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.