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Wi-Fi for airline passengers moves closer to reality

24 January 2008

That’s the choice air passengers are likely to have later this year as progress in both systems was announced this week.

Southwest Airlines on Wednesday said it is testing satellite-based service developed by Row 44. Southwest said it hopes to begin testing Internet service on four of its aircraft this summer.

Meanwhile, American Airlines on Tuesday reported that it has installed Aircell’s Internet broadband on one of its 15 Boeing 767-200 aircraft. The air-to-ground technology utilizes a network of 92 cell towers scattered across the continental U.S.

Both technologies are expected to deliver Wi-Fi service — likely for a fee — to passengers. While users will be able to surf the Web and access their e-mail accounts, they will be blocked from using cell phones and VoIP.

source: Information Week

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