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In-Flight Broadband 'Within Twelve Months'
Also: FCC officially grounds in flight mobile phones
by Karl Bode 06:33PM Tuesday Apr 03 2007
The Wall Street Journal insists that Wi-Fi will start making its way onto U.S. planes "within 12 months," though they fail to mention any specific deals. They're talking about plans by Aircell, whose long-delayed solution is supposed to launch at the tail end of this year or early next. According to the report, Aircell is going to block VoIP applications like Skype from being used unless you're a pilot, flight attendant or air marshall with something important to say. Still, Aircell's solution doesn't mean much if the airlines can't afford to retrofit their planes -- though they say it should only cost $100k per plane and the airlines will share the revenue.

Keep in mind though that this is an industry that can barely afford to offer consumers pillows for fear of breaking the bank. We've been waiting for broadband on U.S. planes for years, but the airline industry's financial problems have kept it from happening. Boeing's Connexion service went belly up after it failed to take off make inroads in America. A follow up solution by Panasonic likewise hasn't materialized.

Related: As expected the FCC today officially derailed the idea of allowing cell phone communications on planes.

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Jon
Premium
join:2001-01-20
Lisle, IL

didn't they try this already?

I thought some airlines did and ended up getting rid of it.
jervin123

join:2005-04-14
Philadelphia, PA

Re: didn't they try this already?

was run by boeing and to expensive and too heavy to get off the ground. was just a big mess and not availble on any US dometic flights.
SunnyFL
Premium
join:2001-02-08
Yeh they got rid of it like getting rid of cell phones broadband okay cell phones not. hmmm.
amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America

how exactly?

are they going to "block VoIP applications" from getting through???

Next we'll hear about some kid who figured out how to bypass it and the fidgety exec. who used the kid's headset to call his people...

oh joy.

battleop

join:2005-09-28
00000

Re: how exactly?

Pretty simple. Route your VoIP calls down a VPN tunnel. That's how I access our switch remotely and make VoIP calls.

NJxxxJon
DSLR'er from the 56k days.
Premium
join:2005-10-22
00000

CELL

...but ta.....not cell phones?
ric b

join:2006-03-23
Saint Louis, MO

whatever

With the prices they charge for plane phones, I can't imagine how ridiculous the prices for broadband would be on a plane. And I agree, they won't serve you snacks on a flight anymore or can't find enough pillows or balnkies to keep warm, why do people really need to use the internet while on a plane?

RayW
Premium
join:2001-09-01
Layton, UT
kudos:1

Re: whatever

said by ric b:

With the prices they charge for plane phones, I can't imagine how ridiculous the prices for broadband would be on a plane. And I agree, they won't serve you snacks on a flight anymore or can't find enough pillows or balnkies to keep warm, why do people really need to use the internet while on a plane?
Well, to some people the 2-4 hours spent in a plane boils down to thousands if not more dollars an hour lost (well, that is the claim).

But maybe the real reason is to take your mind off of what has been deleted. I remember Delta having a killer sandwich and soup between DFW and LAX, now you are lucky to get an ounce of cheap imitation cracker pieces, and on some airlines, one cup of a drink (about 4 ounces I think since it looks like they got three servings out of a can) is all you get for drinks (unless you pony up for the booze).
--
I am not lost, I find myself every time.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

1 recommendation

Re: whatever

said by RayW:

Well, to some people the 2-4 hours spent in a plane boils down to thousands if not more dollars an hour lost (well, that is the claim).
Truthfully, nobody is that important. If they lose that much money while airborne they're lives are out of control and are horrid business people.

Anyone truly that important to a business has backup plans and delegates critical work to others just in case something worse than a gate hold happens.
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: whatever

said by RadioDoc:

Truthfully, nobody is that important.
Says you. This statement continues to be rehashed every time someone brings up evil corporations and/or highly paid execs. Fact of the matter is that there are people worth that much money. What about consultants hired for a job? If I'm paying a consultant $10K for a day or two, he/she better damn well work during travel that I'm paying for. OTOH, a lot of people that "think" they are worth that much money in reality are not.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: whatever

I'm one of those consultants. You pay for my travel time at a lower rate, and I'll be taking a nap so I can devote 10-14 hours a day to you when I get there. Your time is while my feet are at your site.

Any work being done en route will be done for whomever I feel like doing it for.

I stand by my previous statements. Any competent business person knows how to avoid losing money while in transit.
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: whatever

It's not totally about losing money. It's about efficiency and what a person's time is worth. People that are worth that much per hour have already tasked/delegated functions and responsibilities to subordinates and still have work (most likely even more important work) that needs to be done...in the office, in the car, on a plane, etc. Time is money. Any competent business person knows that

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: whatever

said by openbox9:

It's not totally about losing money. It's about efficiency and what a person's time is worth. People that are worth that much per hour have already tasked/delegated functions and responsibilities to subordinates and still have work (most likely even more important work) that needs to be done...in the office, in the car, on a plane, etc. Time is money. Any competent business person knows that
Point being that an efficient business person knows how to manage time. Having your workday dictated by an airline (the 'if I can't work/chat on my cellphone/surf the Internet/snore/fart I lose thousands of dollars' crowd) is indicative of someone who is not in control of their life.
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: whatever

said by RadioDoc:

indicative of someone who is not in control of their life.
I'll agree with that. I think we're saying the same thing, just in a different manner.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: whatever

Agreed.

RayW
Premium
join:2001-09-01
Layton, UT
kudos:1
Well Radiodoc, some people do not have a line of delegation. And some companies (Lockheed for example) insist on paper that you do work while in-flight. I never did, I always take a good book and read. Of course my current employer frowns on us working in-flight - security issues with all those people being able to look at what you are doing (but that is another issue).

An note: I did say "that is the claim", so I really have no clue if those people I see slaving away are inefficient or making a lot of dollars per hour.
--
I am not lost, I find myself every time.

RadioDoc
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-05-11
La Grange, IL
kudos:2

Re: whatever

True. You can work on the plane. You might work for some dinosaur which micromanages it's employees. But don't pretend that the two to four hours costs you $10K or more if you don't.

And before some crusading moderator wanders by and accuses me of a "personal attack", "you" is not directed at you personally.
--
Toolmaster of La Grange.
ric b

join:2006-03-23
Saint Louis, MO
Never been on a Delta flight that didn't give me the whole can of soda after pouring those four ounces in the cup for me.

The people who "need" broadband on a plane are the same people who pay or who work for a company that pays way too much for a business class seat that arrives at the airport at the same time that the coach seats arrive. The differeences, are a bit more legroom and a bigger seat, actual silverware served on a china plate. More drinks/free drinks, and less people to wait in line for when you have to go to the bathroom. Other than that, there's no advantages.

Are people going to have to buy a special laptop adapter that fits into a special proprietery fitting for each airline? Are they going to be available for rental with the airline? Are the people who "need" inet access on a plane going to actually use it?

RayW
Premium
join:2001-09-01
Layton, UT
kudos:1

Re: whatever

Delta does give a full drink, I believe it was American Eagle or Southwest that was the cheap one.

As far as business class "needing" BB, there are people who travel coach that have the same "need", they are just more frugal or lack the upgrade miles (or in my case with American, flying cheapo non-upgradable government tickets).

Good question on how it will work, it would make too much sense to be a standard system that most newer laptops have built-in.
--
I am not lost, I find myself every time.

morbo
Complete Your Transaction

join:2002-01-22
00000

cost

$100k per plane but can be installed by airline maintenance overnight? someone please explain where the hell those numbers come from.

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: cost

said by morbo:

$100k per plane but can be installed by airline maintenance overnight? someone please explain where the hell those numbers come from.
The In-Flight Broadband Network Installation Company, of course.
--
Only SHATNER is Kirk.

Michieru2
zzz zzz zzz
Premium
join:2005-01-28
Miami, FL
Excellent point.

No way in hell they would take out a plane currently in service just to install broadband on it.

Every minute is a few hundred dollars wasted, they cannot afford to have these planes down for more than the amount of time to maintain them.

What the airline industry should focus on is providing a comfortable ride FIRST and energy efficient jets to lower down costs while still keep ticket prices the same to pay for the new improvements.

Imagine a day when the jet engines are actually silent and you can sit down and relax. Read the news paper and actually enjoy the ride. Now that's better than anything broadband or snakes on a plane can offer.
--
The only limits we have are the one's we set ourselves.

s bassaw

join:2006-06-11
New Rochelle, NY

Re: cost

said by Michieru2:

Excellent point.

No way in hell they would take out a plane currently in service just to install broadband on it.

Every minute is a few hundred dollars wasted, they cannot afford to have these planes down for more than the amount of time to maintain them.

What the airline industry should focus on is providing a comfortable ride FIRST and energy efficient jets to lower down costs while still keep ticket prices the same to pay for the new improvements.

Imagine a day when the jet engines are actually silent and you can sit down and relax. Read the news paper and actually enjoy the ride. Now that's better than anything broadband or snakes on a plane can offer.
You have a poor idea on the amount of profit each flight actually produces. There was a documentary aired about American Airlines a few months ago. They broke down how much money is made on the typical flight from California to New York. With the cost of fuel, other surcharges, people using their, "miles" and etc, AA only makes about $300 on that flight. If two passengers didn't fly, it would be a loss. They also stated that a lot of their flights end up costing them money versus making money.

It is not the airline industry who can decide if they want to build more efficient jets. It is the manufacturers who determine how efficient a flight can be. The only real thing an airline can do is lower the amount of weight they have on a flight and try to get lower fuel contracts.

Michieru2
zzz zzz zzz
Premium
join:2005-01-28
Miami, FL

Re: cost

Poor idea indeed, it was a huge mistake in my part to actually eliminate myself from TV. I been so out of touch I hardly know much anymore about the airline industry or the world around me for that matter.

Now, since you watched that documentary what is their biggest cost, I would presume it would be maintenance and fuel. Now how much on average will it cost to upgrade the planes currently in service or a new rebuilt jet entirely from the ground up.

How much on average does it cost for pilot, co-pilot, flight attendants, etc. What is the seating capacity of each plane, on average how much profit is earned per customer and what will be the total profit of one flight on 24 hour stop and go between short points and destinations such as KMIA(Miami International Airport) to MCO(Orlando International Airport)?

P.S I really enjoy watching documentaries, what TV network?
--
The only limits we have are the one's we set ourselves.

hobgoblin
Sortof Agoblin
Premium
join:2001-11-25
Orchard Park, NY
kudos:11

Re: cost

"P.S I really enjoy watching documentaries, what TV network?"

»www.aweekinthelife.cnbc.com/main.html

Hob
--
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Michieru2
zzz zzz zzz
Premium
join:2005-01-28
Miami, FL

Re: cost

Danke.

hobgoblin
Sortof Agoblin
Premium
join:2001-11-25
Orchard Park, NY
kudos:11

1 edit

Re: cost

Bitte schon

Hob

Michieru2
zzz zzz zzz
Premium
join:2005-01-28
Miami, FL

Re: cost

Fragen Sie, was genau?

pnh102
Reptiles Are Cuddly And Pretty
Premium
join:2002-05-02
Mount Airy, MD

Re: cost

Bork bork.

s bassaw

join:2006-06-11
New Rochelle, NY
The two biggest expenses were fuel and labor... You wouldn't believe this, but after getting rid of all the magazines from the seat backs, AA was able to eliminate $2 million in fuel costs! Who'd ever guess all those magazines cost $2 million to lug around?!
expert007

join:2006-01-10
Buffalo, NY
Under the right circumstances, they wouldn't have to remove an airplane from revenue service to do the installation. Most aircraft have various levels of maintenance performed at night, and equipment installations and minor modifications are sometimes assigned. $100k sounds like a very reasonable figure considering the equipment, the installation costs, and the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) that would be necessary to get the kit by the Feds. IF it wasn't done overnight, there would be plenty of time to get it done while the aircraft is out of service for a letter check.

s bassaw

join:2006-06-11
New Rochelle, NY

Re: cost

I think eac AA aircraft gets taken out of service for 2 weeks every three years or so and is gutted out and rebuilt. While they're doing this, installing the wiFi equipment would be a good idea, no?

PolarBear03
The bear formerly known as aaron8301
Premium
join:2005-01-03

Wi-fi but no cell

So does that mean I could use my T-Mobile @home phone over wi-fi instead of GSM then?

•••
radam

join:2004-02-13
Fairfax Station, VA

Lufthansa and Internet

I flew on Lufthansa to Frankfurt last April and was able to use their online service. I think it was $10 for an hour and $30 for the entire flight. The download and upload speeds were fine. I have to think user fees are supporting Lufthansa's installation. Are there regulatory issues holding up US carriers, or is it just affordability?

dslwanter
It's coming
Premium
join:2002-12-16
Mineral Ridge, OH

Nice

Broadband in the friendly skies, but still nothing for the people here on the ground that can't get anything better than marginal 384k/384k DSL.
--
"You're as worthless as a screen door on a submarine!" Check out my Internet Radio Station & DJ Service, »www.thebomb102.com.

POB
Res Firma Mitescere Nescit
Premium
join:2003-02-13
Stepford, CA

It's a Fairy Tale

Given that the airline industry continually cries about how broke it is, I find in-flight broadband extremely difficult to believe. Maybe 10 years from now, but not anytime soon.

The news just ran a segment the other night about how significantly bad things are for consumers with regard to air travel. The Jet Blue debacle where travelers were trapped on a flight that sat on the tarmac for 24hrs was just the tip of the iceberg.

If broadband does become available, then it will probably be priced at $10.00/minute or some other such ridiculous pricetag just like the stupid air phones were.
--
The Toll


•••••

uid1173726
Premium
join:2005-03-14

Excellent!

I don't care how expensive this is. Or how slow. But for cross country flights this is a life saver. I can't wait! I've had live satellite TV a few times in the US and even that is very cool.

Why are we still in the tech stone age on our aircraft?
expert007

join:2006-01-10
Buffalo, NY

Re: Excellent!

Because the costs of tech on an airplane are tenfold what they are for ground based consumer products and services for one, and all RF emitting tech has to be tested, tested and tested before being certified as non-interfering with airborne communication and navigation systems. RF interference while shooting a Cat IIIB landing in a B767 is alot more important than figuring out if your WLAN is interfering with your 2.4 GHz cordless phone. Considering the financials of adding tech as an amenity (fee or free), more often than not, its just not worth the cost.

N3OGH
Yo Soy Col. "Bat" Guano
Premium
join:2003-11-11
Philly burbs
kudos:2

I would pay.....

I would pay a premium price for in flight broadband availability.

I only fly for pleasure, I've never flown for business, so I roll on my own dime every time.

I would much rather be able to PM or e-mail my friends and family than call them. I can keep 2 or 3 e-mail conversations going at one time, as opposed to 1 telephone conversation.

I can send pictures from my trip saved on my laptop to my friends on the way home, or take a look at my on line security cams to make sure my house is secure. Heck, I can even see my cat on the cameras. Pretty cool to do from 30,000 feet.

Of course, my preferred method of communication is e-mail, so in flight broadband is more appealing to me than using a cell phone in flight,

Plus, I can look at videos of dumb stuff on You tube.....

I would very much like to see in flight broadband become a reality....
--
FCC, PLEASE KILL THE MERGER BEFORE THE MERGER KILLS SATRAD!

Randy
Premium
join:2006-04-25
Springfield, IL

1 edit

blocks

they are worried about blocking voip wait till someone next to you is on p2p eating up the whole planes bandwidth
ShadezeRO

join:2006-04-24
Fort Lauderdale, FL

Satallite good?

Lol, As a gamer, I would be using teamspeak or ventrilo.

Skype is too much of a resource hog at times.

Plus think about it, You'd need alot of B/W for say ..

200 passengers x maybe 5-15KBytes upload per person..

Not sure if you can do that, maybe with some sort of satellite connection.