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OH NO! You’ll have to work 24 by 7: INFLIGHT WI-FI all set for big take-off

OH NO! You’ll have to work 24 by 7: INFLIGHT WI-FI all set for big take-off

SINGAPORE – Wifi in aircraft, hobbled in the past by slow speeds, could soon take off as new technology enables passengers to surf the web as if they were in a coffee shop, Internet executives say.

More airlines are rolling out new and improved services thanks to satellite technology, industry leaders said at the recent Singapore Airshow, with the public increasingly demanding wifi on planes.

US-based Honeywell Aerospace and Gogo, which supply inflight connectivity systems to airlines, are collaborating with satellite giant Inmarsat to implement the “first global high-speed broadband for the skies” dubbed the Global Xpress (GX) Aviation network.

Briand Greer, president of Honeywell Aerospace Asia Pacific, said inflight wifi could generate $2.8 billion for the company alone over the next 20 years.

He estimates that around seven to eight per cent of airlines currently offer wireless connection, but says this number is expected to grow to 25 per cent by 2018.

After years of being bogged down by weak demand due to poor signal quality, inflight wifi can now enable download speeds of up to 50 megabits per second, Greer said.

“How we describe it is it will be like you are sitting at Starbucks with your smartphone, your computer and your iPad,” Greer told reporters.

Onboard wifi is not a new idea — European carrier Lufthansa debuted Conexxion by Boeing’s system in 2004.

But by 2006 the company announced its exit after the expected growth in the market did not materialise.

Recent surveys by Airbus and Honeywell, however, suggest that the market might now be ready as passengers increasingly expect airlines to have inflight wireless services. -Asiaone

Full article: http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=237912:inflight-wi-fi-all-set-for-big-take-off&Itemid=3#ixzz2vCyNzpqg 
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