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AirCell plans to charge no more than $10 per day for its WiFi service
AirCell is shopping around for potential customers of its in-flight WiFi service

WiFi will soon again be taking to American skies. Boeing had offered its Connexion WiFi service in the past, but customers just didn't warm up to its pricing ($10 for one hour of access, $15 for two hours and $27 unlimited access). Boeing announced in August that it would discontinue the service and began offering customers free WiFi access from October 2 until Connexion was finally shut down on December 31. 

It looks as though air travelers may once again have the option to use WiFi aboard American airliners thanks to renewed interest from airlines and communications providers. AirCell spent $31 billion USD in 2006 for a portion of the radio spectrum for cell phone and Internet use.

AirCell also notes that the equipment necessary for outfitting an existing airliner will only add 100 pounds and can be installed overnight by airline crews. The downside, however, is that equipment costs are likely to be around $100,000 USD per plane.

Luckily for air passengers who choose to use AirCell's service, connection speeds and WiFi performance will be similar to existing ground-based systems and discounts will be offered to customers of T-Mobile, iPass and Boingo services. AirCell is also trying to avoid the pricing problems that Boeing ran into with its Connexion service -- it will charge no more than $10 per day to passengers for unlimited service.

AirCell's WiFi service will include Internet, email, VPN, SMS and IM access. The service will be available coast to coast and will offer DSL-like speeds and AirCell will provide email receipts for business expense usage.

While WiFi may be a viable option to air passengers in the near future, don't bet on using cell phones in the air anytime soon. Complaints from air passengers along with FCC regulations have so far kept that idea at bay. And for those of you thinking to use AirCell's WiFi connection to make VoIP calls while in the air, guess again. The company says it will block VoIP services such as Skype through WiFi connections.

Boeing recently nixed its idea to provide wireless networking for its 787 Dreamliner. The wireless networking equipment that it planned to use would have added 200 pounds to the weight of the aircraft. The company instead decided to use wired networking which saves roughly 150 pounds. The company was also worried about regulatory issues when using wireless technology in certain countries.



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Good Luck
By Mitch101 on 4/4/2007 11:12:45 AM , Rating: 3
Good luck blocking VOIP communications. Unless its severly bandwidth limited there will be plenty of ways getting around whatever they put in place.

How long till the RIAA puts out a court order on a plane for someone downloading MP3's?




RE: Good Luck
By eyebeeemmpawn on 4/4/2007 12:04:56 PM , Rating: 2
They'll just have the airforce shoot it down...


RE: Good Luck
By SunAngel on 4/4/07, Rating: -1
RE: Good Luck
By Mitch101 on 4/4/07, Rating: 0
RE: Good Luck
By Zoomer on 4/5/2007 3:36:43 PM , Rating: 2
Not if it's over SSH or https.


RE: Good Luck
By Mitch101 on 4/10/2007 4:23:06 PM , Rating: 2
Your one of our favorite types. Keylogging software in companies is pretty popular today. Go ahead try finding it. Most corporate AV and Spyware programs are configured not to detect them. Plus we lock you out of the registry and from task manager. We upload them to a central point at login and run keyword searches on them. Most are very small unless we pull a random screen shot.

We had someone who thought certificates would protect him too.

Yup someone is running WASTE again. Ok this one is going to an e-mail site in India and this one is trying to tunnel into his home via IP.

Hey look another U3 keychain? Cheap he only bought the 512meg and look at the lousy passwords he has on his websites.

Oh our funnest is when we upgraded our USB sticks and took the old ones out to the parking lot and left them on the ground. They were loaded with a program that e-mails us when plugged in. Ok e-mail his boss because he needs to go to corporate security training class this week.

The moral of the story is dont do anything from work you dont want us to know about. Lucky for you we usually dont care unless the jokes your e-mailing suck or you e-mail someone on AOL which shows us you should step away from the computer all together. BTW the boss is usually the biggest perv in the company.


RE: Good Luck
By MobileZone on 4/4/2007 1:49:06 PM , Rating: 2
You mean, they will actually DOWNLOAD it.


RE: Good Luck
By MobileZone on 4/4/2007 1:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, when someone's is using P2P softwares inside planes, they're UPLOADING files, right?


Much better
By swtethan on 4/4/2007 11:00:01 AM , Rating: 2
I think the price really drove people away. now when I fly for more than 4 hours, I will definately pay $10 to keep me entertained online (neffing on ATOT of course).




RE: Much better
By TomZ on 4/4/2007 12:27:01 PM , Rating: 2
I agree - the pricing of the old offering would have put me off. $10 is much more reasonable.

Now if I could just get some power to keep the laptop batteries charged...


RE: Much better
By atomicacid55 on 4/4/2007 1:11:12 PM , Rating: 1
Unless you have business to do, why would you pay $10? Are you that desperate for ATOT? Sure, I nef, but ok... If you have to be plugged in either way, I'd rather just load up a stack of movies or recorded TV shows and start watching away. Why pay? The minute you land, you can go get a free connection somewhere else to nef away.


RE: Much better
By theapparition on 4/4/2007 3:13:19 PM , Rating: 2
Wow........I just had to look up what ATOT and neffing was. I'm getting old.


RE: Much better
By crazzyeddie on 4/4/2007 1:38:08 PM , Rating: 2
I also agree. Sometimes I don't have any media that I really want to watch on my computer, so why not just pay $10 for all-you-can-watch YouTube or online TV instead of having to buy a new DVD or download something from iTunes?


gaming
By Moishe on 4/4/2007 1:17:11 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if it would be fast enough for playing something like BF2 online? Playing hours of your favorite game online while flying could really make the time pass quickly. The elbow room might end up being the main problem though.




RE: gaming
By crazzyeddie on 4/4/2007 1:36:18 PM , Rating: 2
I'm sure the bandwidth will be fine but I think latency will be your issue, as well as connection stability.

In other words, don't count on it.


RE: gaming
By Spivonious on 4/4/2007 2:32:50 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah I agree. 30,000 feet makes for a long way for those radio waves to travel before they hit the tower on the ground. And 500mph makes it so you're hitting a different tower every second.


RE: gaming
By masher2 (blog) on 4/4/2007 3:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
> "30,000 feet makes for a long way for those radio waves to travel before they hit the tower on the ground..."

That would add about 0.03 milliseconds of latency. The real latency comes from tower switching and the radios themselves, not from actual speed-of-light transit times for the radio waves.


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