802.11 at 35,000 Feet

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Online in the sky at last? CNET is running a story (see about the resurrection of Internet access on airplanes (originally hyped 3 years ago). Initially, 802.11 in the plane (your notebook talking to an onboard access point), and then possibly a RJ45 connection at each seat. “the link to the airplane from the ground is four channels at 5 megabits per second each, so that’s 20 megabits per second total capacity. The length from the airplane to the ground is a 1-megabit-per-second link, and again, the actual speed you will see as the consumer depends on the number of people on the airplane and where the airplanes are operating physically in the world zone.”
It looks like non-US carriers will be the first to deploy this; Lufthansa, Singapore Airlines, Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), Japan Airlines, All-Nippon Airways, and then China Airlines. I guess I’ll have to fly International more now. 🙂

7 responses to “802.11 at 35,000 Feet”

  1. Rob Brooks-Bilson Avatar
    Rob Brooks-Bilson

    All I can say is that the pricing for this sucks. At $29 for access during the length of the flight, I think a lot of people are going to have trouble justifying the expense.

  2. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    Yep, but a) every new opportunity starts off pricey and then comes down in price, b) on coast-to-coast or International flights is might be justifiable.

  3. g.wygonik Avatar

    if they would also supply power outlets in non-first class seats, i’d happily pay $30 for net access – especially since all the movies on recent international flights have been crap ("Malibu’s Most Wanted" ??!?!? ack!) 🙂

  4. seancorfield Avatar

    I think $29 to stay connected is great value for many business travelers.

  5. Jack Avatar

    Yeah, couldn’t agree more. I’d gladly pay 29 bucks to be connected on a long flight, even if it was just modem speed. Increases productivity enormously when you can read/write emails and pretty much do all the work you usually do while on the ground.

  6. Mark Murphy Avatar
    Mark Murphy

    Jet Blue has free wireless in a few terminals — given how high-tech and cool they are I wouldn’t be suprised if they did free wifi in flight.

  7. Michael Conger Avatar
    Michael Conger

    Gizmodo had an interesting article on this topic just about a week ago… gives a good overview of the technology that’s making safe wi-fi on planes possible…

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