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In-flight WiFi is coming to the friendly skies

We live in a connected world -- some may say that we all are too connected when it comes to electronic devices. American Airlines is looking to satisfy our cravings for "all access anywhere" with in-flight WiFi beginning this summer.

Southwest is partnering with Row 44 to provide high-speed satellite Internet access. The airline will equip four of its aircraft with the service starting in summer 2008.

"Southwest Airlines is pleased to announce its partnership with Row 44, and we intend to deliver the highest bandwidth available to commercial airlines in the United States," said Southwest Senior VP of marketing Dave Ridley. "Southwest's selection of satellite technology will offer a more robust experience for more Customers per aircraft versus other solutions available in the marketplace. Southwest is looking for the best solution for our Customers not only for Internet e-mail access, but for additional in-flight entertainment as well."

American Airlines will first roll the service out with its Boeing 767-200 airliners. These large aircraft typically make long, cross-country flights. After the initial test phase with the 767s, American Airlines will slowly add WiFi to its entire fleet.

The costs for in-flight WiFi are expected to range from $10 for short flight and up to $12.95 for longer, cross-country flights.

The high-speed Internet will be provided by AirCell. According to AirCell, the cost of providing Internet connectivity to a single aircraft is $100,000 USD and adds roughly 100 pounds to the airframe. The equipment can be installed overnight by airline crews.

Southwest and American Airlines are not alone in their testing, however. JetBlue is trialing in-flight WiFi with a single Airbus A320 aircraft dubbed "BetaBlue." JetBlue's service is also provided by AirCell, but it will not charge customers for connectivity.



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RE: I love the wireless "risk" in the sky
By TomZ on 1/23/2008 3:21:10 PM , Rating: 2
Read my other reply above:

http://www.dailytech.com/article.aspx?newsid=10445...

There is no need to test individual devices. All devices on the market are already tested to comply with existing EFI/EMI rules.


By Cygni on 1/23/2008 4:56:59 PM , Rating: 2
A) You are wrong, many electronic devices are NOT EMI tested before they hit the market, and many are tested poorly.
http://www.dailytech.com/Wake+Up+America+Whos+Watc...

And

B) Who said that all electronic devices taken on the plane are even from the US? There are thousands of international flights per day... are you going to check to make sure that every single electronic device on that plane is FCC certified? Or are you going to simply say 'Shut em off.'

There is only ONE logical, simple, and effective way to deal with this... The current rule. Shut em off.


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