Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Return of In-Flight Broadband

I stumbled onto this purely by accident.

Like the mythical bird, Phoenix, in-flight broadband Internet access may soon rise from the ashes of Connexion by Boeing. Panasonic Avionics Corporation has improved upon Connexion's original concept in its eXconnect offering.

eXconnect improves on Connexion by leasing satellite Internet connectivity, reducing the breakeven point for the service. It also improves speed using newer technology. The airplane antenna is more compact and lighter, saving fuel costs. And Panasonic is looking to partner with existing airport WiFi vendors, so you can pay for your in-flight connection, and use the airport departure lounge WiFi prior to boarding under a single package. Finally, the goal is to start the service at a price similar to Connexion by Boeing, and get the price down to about $20 for the duration of long-distance international flight within a year of launching.

It makes total sense the in-flight entertainment companies are bringing back in-flight broadband, and as any second attempt, it should be faster, smaller, and cheaper.

Now if they would just bring back Concorde.


Panasonic May Relaunch Connexion

Aircraft Interiors: Panasonic plans broadband launch in fourth quarter

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