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Boeing will install equipment for cellular and WiFi access in more of its aircraft

21 September 2012

photo of 777-200LR in flightBoeing has announced that it will install on its 747-8 and 777  planes equipment for wireless and mobile calls and internet by the end of 2013. Its 787 range of planes already have the ability to provide cellular calls and should get Wi-Fi by the end of this year with systems developed by Panasonic and the Thales Group, and all new airplanes from 2014 will come pre-installed. It would mean more passengers will be able to get online and make incoming and outbound calls (and more disturbances from fellow travelers?) from the devices and in addition Boeing will also provide live TV broadcasts through fitted displays. In doing the upgrade, airlines have the opportunity to have another channel of monetizing travelers in the way of charging a connection and ppm fees which around $11.00 – $49.00 for computer devices and $4.95 – $19.95 for mobile devices. Global Industry Analysts predicts from research that in-flight Wi-Fi services are expected to reach $1.85 billion by 2018. Currently the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is against the use of mobile phones below 10,000 feet and Wi-Fi is not allowed at all due to fears of radio signals from personal devices may may confuse up the plane’s navigation systems and other vital instrumentation. Though this is view is widely debated, other airlines that already have Wi-Fi functionality include Delta Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Lufthansa, Norwegian Airlines, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin America, and some planes with American and Southwest Airlines.

wi-fi on board a plane

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