Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Mac Community > Community Discussion > Current Events

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Dec 26, 2002, 10:25 AM   #1
medea
macrumors 68030
 
medea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Madison, Wi
Airlines to offer Net access in '03

http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/interne....ap/index.html
NEW YORK (AP) -- For many busy people, a long airplane flight is one of the last places in life with guaranteed down time, away from the tentacles of e-mail and requests from the office.

That's about to change.
In 2003, several international carriers will begin offering high-speed Internet access via satellite. For now, it's basically a trial run so the airlines can figure out how much people are willing to pay to get online with their own laptops at 35,000 feet.
This toe-dipping comes as several companies stand ready to supercharge airplanes with a range of communications upgrades, such as giving passengers the means to send and receive e-mail and instant messages from their seats.
"It becomes a really strong productivity tool that gives people their time back," said Terrance Scott, a spokesman for Connexion by Boeing, which is offering the satellite broadband service. "It keeps you in touch with things at a time when you haven't been able to do that."

Service comes at a price
Connexion's service is expected to debut January 15 on Lufthansa flights from Frankfurt, Germany, to Washington-Dulles. Scandanavian Airlines System (SAS), British Airways and Japan Airlines will try it next.
Lufthansa will offer the service for free for three months; British Airways plans to charge about $30 per flight.
That price sounds about right to Rob Vollmer, 32, a principal in Crosby-Vollmer International Communications, a Washington-based public-relations firm.
Vollmer, who has flown 140,000 miles this year, does so much work by e-mail that he sometimes feels compelled to surreptitiously check messages during flights with a wireless Palm device, though it's prohibited.
"If I could do so legally for a fee, I'd jump at the opportunity," Vollmer said. "Going six to eight hours without the ability to send or receive e-mail is a form of torture," he said, offering proof: He once took an unnecessary flight from London to India because he missed an e-mail that warned him a meeting had been postponed.

Modifying the plane
Connexion's service requires installing two antennas on the plane, one to transmit data to satellites and one to receive data. A server and routing system inside the plane relay signals to and from plug-in ports at the seats or wireless networking cards in passengers' laptops.
The service promises speeds comparable to cable modems, with downloads up to 1 megabit per second. Even if everyone on board logged on at once, Scott said, the data transfer rate would not be less than 56 kilobits per second, comparable to dial-up.
Connexion eventually could use voice-over-Internet technology to let passengers make phone calls safely, Scott said. Mobile phones are banned in flight out of fear they can disrupt navigational systems and wreak havoc with cellular networks on the ground.

Delivering on a promise
Boeing won't disclose the cost of installing Connexion. But it is considered far more expensive than simpler systems for planes that store data on a server and periodically connect with ground networks rather than maintaining a constant feed via satellite.
One such option, JetConnect, a Verizon Communications Inc. system that already is available on some Continental and United flights, uses the same network as Verizon's Airfones, those expensive handsets on seat backs.
For $5.99 per flight, travelers who hook their computers to JetConnect can play games, peruse certain Web pages that get updated every 15 minutes, and send and receive AOL, Yahoo and MSN instant messages. Verizon plans to add e-mail in mid-2003.
Similarly, Tenzing Communications Inc., which is backed by Boeing rival Airbus, can provide e-mail access and short text messaging. Cathay Pacific, Varig and Virgin Atlantic are customers; Seattle-based Tenzing expects to sign several more in 2003.
Several airlines, notably American, Delta and United, said in 2001 that they would buy Connexion's service, but those plans evaporated after the September 11 terrorist attacks when mere survivability became paramount for carriers.
Now, some carriers are showing renewed interest in Internet services in hopes they can generate incremental revenue, improve customer loyalty and provide new perks to offer in first and business class, said Rob Brookler, spokesman for the World Airline Entertainment Association.

Eager to log on
Indeed, several frequent fliers seem eager to sign up.
Avi Steinlauf, a vice president at Edmunds.com, an autos Web site, said he'd "easily pay up to $50 for broadband access on a cross-country flight." Robert Brooker, head of ICLUBcentral Inc., a Massachusetts-based software company, said $20 an hour "seems like the right price point."
Still, that sentiment might not be widespread. Tenzing is testing real-time satellite Internet connections but expects the market to lie in corporate jets rather than commercial aircraft, said Peter Lemme, Tenzing's chief technical officer.

Heavy use?
Low-cost carrier JetBlue could offer Internet access relatively easily by adapting equipment it already uses to show live cable TV on flights via satellite. But JetBlue isn't convinced the Web would be heavily used.
"People are much keener to watch 'TV Land' than draft proposals or write e-mails," JetBlue spokesman Gareth Edmondson-Jones said. "It's always been very politically correct to say, 'Oh, I do all this work on all the plane,' but is that out of boredom? Wouldn't you rather have a beer and watch ESPN?"


-Personally I think it's a great deal but should be free and included in the ticket price already, but of course they want to make money and I think it would, plenty of business people would take advantage of being able to connect on their plane.
__________________
Winner Of The '04 Animated Avatar Contest
Misanthrope's Creed:
One's company, two's a crowd.
Solipsist's Creed:
Zero's company, one's a crowd.
medea is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2002, 01:37 PM   #2
rainman::|:|
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: iowa
Send a message via Yahoo to rainman::|:|
keener? who says keener?

it's about friggin' time. admittedly it's not something i would use, but it's almost 2003, you can get internet access in cars and trains, why not planes?

pnw
rainman::|:| is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2002, 10:16 PM   #3
medea
Thread Starter
macrumors 68030
 
medea's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Madison, Wi
I dont have internet access in my car, do you?
__________________
Winner Of The '04 Animated Avatar Contest
Misanthrope's Creed:
One's company, two's a crowd.
Solipsist's Creed:
Zero's company, one's a crowd.
medea is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 26, 2002, 11:21 PM   #4
rainman::|:|
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: iowa
Send a message via Yahoo to rainman::|:|
Quote:
Originally posted by medea
I dont have internet access in my car, do you?
No but quite a lot of people do-- cellular and wireless modems have been a hit for some time, especially among the businesspeople that this targets...


pnw
rainman::|:| is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Dec 30, 2002, 09:56 AM   #5
JDRasta
macrumors member
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
I dont understand. Even this is illegal, why can't mac users just use their airport cards and log on to their network. And even if your mac can't find it, people can use MacStumbler. I feel that mac users could take advantage of this.
JDRasta is offline   0 Reply With Quote


Reply
MacRumors Forums > Mac Community > Community Discussion > Current Events

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which cars offer/ will offer iOS in the car? Jarrodbcall iOS 7 18 Jan 4, 2014 07:56 PM
Hawaiian Airlines to Offer iPad Minis as In-Flight Entertainment MacRumors iOS Blog Discussion 28 Sep 1, 2013 11:28 AM
And thank you for flying Partisan Airlines Thomas Veil Politics, Religion, Social Issues 7 Sep 23, 2012 07:15 PM
Southwest Airlines - Burqas next? jnpy!$4g3cwk Politics, Religion, Social Issues 17 Jun 18, 2012 07:48 AM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:01 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC