Brad from Pocket PC Thoughts posted this news 2 days ago about wireless Internet in aircrafts:
High Speed In The High Skies - Boeing has just announced that they have received Federal Aviation Administration certification of their new in-flight high-speed connectivity network, called "Connexion by Boeing." The network is aimed at providing airline passengers the ability to access the Internet and e-mail systems at near-DSL speeds while in the air.
Now I found this news about the first Lufthansa aircraft which will use Cisco Systems infrastructure for accessing the Internet:
"Together with Cisco Systems Lufthansa wants to equip a Boeing 747-400 with Wireless LAN technology. Starting from January 2003 the passengers should be able to access in a test phase wirelessly special contents and the Internet.
Within the machine five Access Points of the Aironet 350 Wi-Fi series are installed. In addition nine Catalyst 3548 XL switches, a 3640 router and a content engine 590 of Cisco will be installed. Connexions particularly developed antenna makes the connection of the airplane over satellite to the earth.
|The satellite antennas
mounted on a Jumbo
Beside the wireless entrance the airplane is to be equipped with a 10-MBit/s Ethernet network, so that Notebook users can access also without Wireless LAN cards the Internet.
Lufthansa develops a portal which the passengers allows to receive messages and other information. But also the pure Internet access will be possible. The service is to be accounted on time based charges whereby the tariff should be similar - according to Cisco - to the costs of telephone calls with a mobile phone
For the next two years Lufthansa plans to equip their 80 machines for intercontinental flights to North America and Asia with this technology."
That's pretty cool. Using Wi-Fi in an airplane makes surfing really wireless and also the price - which is given as expensive as a mobile phone call - seems to be reasonable. Go for it Lufthansa and give us the Internet in your aircrafts with a price like mobile phone calls. However, it would makes me wonder if this Internet access would be cheaper than today's terrastic GPRS calls...
Cheers ~ Arne