Thursday, February 19, 2004

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: The Newsletter: Countdown to in-flight broadband

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: The Newsletter: Countdown to in-flight broadband "Connexion by Boeing will begin in-flight broadband Internet service within the next 45 days on a Lufthansa flight to Japan, marking what is expected to be an intense battle for the market to provide passengers with in-flight e-mail.
Scott Carson, president, told the monthly dean's breakfast at the University of Washington Business School that Connexion has 18 "campaigns" under way with potential airline customers around the world. The company has six firm customers, including Singapore Airlines and Japan Airlines, both considered trendsetters in international markets. Carson said the business also is moving into maritime and business-jet services.
The Lufthansa flight will be the first commercial use of the service, which incorporates satellite technology to provide a broadband in-flight service. Passengers will pay a flat fee for the service per flight, reportedly between $16 and $23.
Carson said Connexion's service is different from existing services because it is a broadband connection, meaning it can handle big files, and because it can be linked to other information applications on an aircraft. For example, flight-data recorders could be downloaded in flight, providing airlines with advance warning of repairs needed on arrival.
Several low-cost airlines are looking at Connexion, Carson said, because if "they can trim turn times from 28 minutes to 26 minutes, it is worth it."
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