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Old 01-01-2003, 08:38 PM   #1
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Lufthansa begins high-speed, two-way Internet service in Jan

Aviation Week is reporting in their December 23, 2002 issue that Lufthansa is rolling out high-speed Internet access using Connexion, by Boeing.

This service offers 20 megabits/sec down to the plane, and one megabit/sec up. It uses two conformal Ku-band phased-array antennas mounted aft of the 747 hump. With this antenna, it doesn't work well about 75 degress North latitude, which is OK for Lufthansa, but not for some transpacific flights. Boeing is working with Mitsubishi on a new antenna.

This is really cool: The interior server and distribution network conform to the 802.11b wireless standard. Lufthansa says they can serve both wired and wireless systems. Boeing doesn't want to get locked into an outdated IFE system, so they're basing their stuff on open standards. There will be wired access at each seat and wireless access through laptops and PDAs.

It's free for the first three months. British Airways anticipates charging about US$32 for Internet access on a London-New York flight.

The original three US carriers that backed out of Connexion after 9/11 are AA, UA and Delta, so it may be quite some time before we see this service on domestic flights in the US.


PS - They don't anticipate people spending 15 hours on the Internet on a 15 hour flight to Japan. They didn't count on dbaker, though.

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Old 01-02-2003, 12:06 AM   #2
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The real question is:

How long before someone gets a Linksys combination router/wi-fi AP going with emPower and starts reselling wireless Internet access on planes for $10/flight?
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