WebRTC Solutions Industry News

TMCNet:  Details on some of the in-flight Internet offerings

[December 24, 2007]

Details on some of the in-flight Internet offerings

The Associated Press

A sampling of in-flight Internet offerings:

AIRCELL -- Delivering high-speed Internet services using a 3-megahertz frequency band licensed from the Federal Communications Commission for $31 million in 2006. Initial service over continental United States, with plans to expand to Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean. Service on some flights of AMR Corp.'s American Airlines and Virgin America to begin in 2008. Prices expected at about $10 a flight, though Virgin may offer cheaper, la carte services on seatback computers. Aircell LLC is based in Itasca, Ill.

LIVETV -- Delivering e-mail and instant-messaging services only using a 1-megahertz frequency band licensed by the FCC (News - Alert) for $7 million. Service over continental United States. LiveTV parent JetBlue Airways Corp. launched free service on one aircraft on Dec. 11. LiveTV is based in Melbourne, Fla.

ROW 44 -- Partnering with Hughes Communications (News - Alert) Inc.'s Hughes Network Systems to deliver high-speed Internet services via satellite. Global coverage planned. Scheduled to launch on an aircraft of Alaska Air Group Inc.'s Alaska Airlines in spring 2008. Alaska hasn't set prices; free service for frequent fliers is possible. Row 44 Inc. has headquarters in Westlake Village, Calif.

PANASONIC AVIONICS -- Partnering with Intelsat (News - Alert) Ltd. for satellite-based, high-speed Internet services. Global coverage planned. GSM cellular phone offerings through AeroMobile Ltd. approved in Australia. Tested on Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd., with other, unnamed airlines expected in late 2008. Panasonic (News - Alert) plans to charge about $12 an hour or $22 per 24-hour period. Panasonic Avionics Corp., part of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., is based in Lake Forest, Calif.

ONAIR -- Leveraging standard GSM cellular phone technology to deliver voice, data and Internet services. Approved by European Aviation Safety Agency, with coverage elsewhere pending. No current plans to offer service in North America, where many cell networks use different technology. Following Dec. 17 launch on Air France, OnAir plans to service European no-frills carrier Ryanair Ltd., British Midland Airways Ltd. and Portugal's TAP by mid-2008. Fees will vary and generally will be billed directly by passer's cell phone provider. OnAir is a joint venture between aircraft manufacturer Airbus and SITA, an information-technology company serving airlines. OnAir has headquarters in Geneva.

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