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American Airlines to use AirCell's high-speed broadband service
American Airlines to go WiFi in 2008

American Airlines (AA) is looking to keep business travelers connected with the announcement that it will utilize AirCell's high-speed broadband network in 2008 on Boeing 767-200 aircraft. The service will provide Internet, VPN and email access to WiFi capable devices in all seating classes -- for a fee.

"We understand that broadband connectivity is important to our business customers and others who want to use their PDAs and laptops for real-time, inflight broadband communications," AA Executive VP of Marketing Dan Garton. "This is part of our continuing effort to enhance the travel experience for our customers and meet their evolving needs."

"We are excited to provide solutions that will give American Airlines passengers the opportunity to make high-speed Internet connections from unprecedented heights," Garton continued. "We consider it a 30,000-foot answer to many of our business travelers’ needs."

The cost of admission for AA is $100,000 per plane according to AirCell. Passengers can expect to pay no more than $10 per day for unlimited service.

The service will be mainly provided on AA transcontinental flights and the company will install cellular towers around the continental U.S. to accommodate AirCell's broadband service. Each 767-200 plane will feature one antenna on the top of the aircraft and two on the bottom to receive the signals. Passengers will then be able to connect to Internet using 802.11a/b/g.

Boeing had originally planned to make its 787 Dreamliner WiFi capable to give airlines the option of providing wireless high-speed broadband access to all passengers. Boeing later dropped the WiFi idea and decided to use wired networking to save weight.





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