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Jet Blue Wi-Fi Not Fully Cooked
2008 and Yahoo Mobile in flight is the best we can do?
by Karl Bode 06:27PM Tuesday Dec 11 2007
At this point we've been talking about potential in-flight broadband services for so long -- we'd prefer the industry to wake us when it arrives instead of teasing us with press nuggets. Allowed to take part in the maiden voyage of the airline's only Wi-Fi equipped plane today, CNET's Caroline McCarthy says Jet Blue's in-flight broadband service isn't worth writing home about just yet. Not only does the trial service restrict you to just IM and e-mail traffic, the e-mail doesn't even allow users to upload attachments:
quote:
The e-mail application is very light. You have access to your address book, but you can't send attachments, which is why you aren't seeing any awesome photos of me hanging out with the flight crew. It all reminded me of an ultra-low-end mobile browser, which leads me to the hack I found. Indeed, as I learned, it's Yahoo Mobile.
That means you can still get around the restriction on browsing mobile content, but it's still far from the in-flight broadband revolution you've been waiting for. Jet Blue is starting small because of bandwidth limitations, and with the early bugs -- that's a good idea. PC World does a good job of breaking down the in-flight broadband services coming from Jet Blue and three other airlines.

Virgin and American Airlines are using technology from Aircell, while Alaska Airlines is using a Wi-Fi solution from a company named Row 44. Jet Blue's service is a collaboration between Yahoo and Research in Motion. They're using technology from JetBlue in-flight entertainment subsidiary LiveTV, who recently acquired a 1-MHz segment of spectrum previously owned by Verizon Airfone.

All four implementations aren't getting off the ground until 2008 or later, so wake us when we get to our destination.

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joako
Premium
join:2000-09-07
/dev/null
kudos:6

Why?

Does anyone have any reasoning why this is being implemented in such a matter? If I am not mistaken from 2004 Lufthansa has WiFi in certain flights and it is not as restricted (I recall someone doing a video chat when it was first launched).

Is this for some BS "homeland security" reason, perhaps? Then again they can make the bomb trigger via basic email so whats the point?

Or maybe this is due to some very limited bandwidth they are working with.
--
Am Heimcomputer sitz' ich hier, und programmier' die Zukunft mir
Joe12345678

join:2003-07-22
Des Plaines, IL

Re: Why?

They must have a vary low bandwidth cap and do not want to pay a over the cap rate.

NY Tel
Premium
join:2004-04-09
Smithtown, NY
kudos:3
I heard that the bandwidth was really great until the length of cable ran out at 500 feet......
bdsdc

join:2003-12-05
Allen, TX

Re: Why?

hahah, or they are too far from the central office!

sporkme
drop the crantini and move it, sister
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-01
Morristown, NJ

How it works

If you follow a few links through the CNET story (yeah, why would a technology writer write about the actual technology?), you can figure it out.

Basically the company Aircell is the one doing this and they have exclusive rights to the air-to-ground spectrum (won the auction in 2006). It's basiscally CDMA EVDO with the antennas pointed to the sky. This is NOT a satellite service and therefore it should eventually be faster and also limited to flights over North America. I assume the JetBlue offering is so basic because the Aircell service is not truly "live" yet, so they are likely still working stuff out. They claim that when the service is officially released speeds will be equivalent to DSL. Aircell makes no mention of this being limited to email/IM - they state this will be a "real" internet connection that will allow for browsing, VPN, etc.
--
with every mistake we must surely be learning

anonq

@online.McMaster.CA

spectrum

how much can they truly accomplish with 1Mhz of spectrum?
flyingjoey

join:2005-11-07
Jersey City, NJ

Let's just give it time...

They just started testing the darned thing...

People are expecting 10 bonded T3s speeds at freaken 35,000 feet, while moving at 500+ knots per hour.

What most people fail to realize is that this service isn't meant to mirror or even rival their at home FIOS connection or even their at work connection speed. JetBlue is just trying to give its customer yet another choice to keep themselves entertained while they're on a 6 hour flight.

Chatting will satisfy 65% of the JetBlue clientel... The other 35% will be happy to just be able to have access to their crackberry email.

Let's just give this thing time, and see how the technology will evolves.

As long as they don't allow using cell phones on planes I'm happy (Although cell phones don't fcuk with the navigational system... it never did on my little cessna).
expert007

join:2006-01-10
Buffalo, NY

Re: Let's just give it time...

Your little Cessna nav system is quite different from a heavy aircraft. While you may be quite comfortable shooting VFR approaches while chatting on the cell, I'd be awfully hesitant to shoot a Cat III (essentially no visibility)approach with cell phone activity happening.
VerizonCynic

join:2006-10-25
Lakewood, CA
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Cost Cost Cost

Its all about cost. Airlines esp. Jet Blue are not doing well now. So this is a gimmick to get people to fly them like their free direct TV which is nice. At the same time they dont want the gimmicks to cot too much. Also most of the airlines have dumped the browsing thing due to cost ans because people refused to pay extra for it given the cost of seats.

Also there are not outlets so people with 2.5 hr batteries like me are in trouble. Aslo you need to be able to send attachments and browse. Why dont they partner with google. Yahoo not doing so hot now esp. in political issues with China
--
Lakewood Accountability Action Group™ “LAAG” | »www.LAAG.us | Lakewood, CA
A California Non Profit Association | Demanding action and accountability from local government™
flyingjoey

join:2005-11-07
Jersey City, NJ

Re: Cost Cost Cost

I don't see how jetblue is not doing well... When I've been asked to give up my (non-revenue) seat twice in the past 3 months.

I get to fly free on JB, so I try to take advantage of the sitatuion as often as possible... Usually at least twice a month. JB's terminal at JFK is worst than Grand Central Station during rush hour.

I've wonder about the in-seat power source, but I'm guessing they actually want people to run out of battery so that they don't spend 6 hours download crap while flying.

»video.google.com/videoplay?docid···29601610

pende_tim
Premium
join:2004-01-04
Andover, NJ
kudos:1

I know that place

SWF? Been a while since I landed there in my P-180! See the C130s are still on the ramps.
--
The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

FlyingJoey_

@e-nt.net

Re: I know that place

wow you're good...

Newburgh! Talk about paying attention to details
stridr69

join:2003-05-19
San Luis Obispo, CA

1 edit

why not...

....just enjoy the flight. Granted I'm a "Johnny Numatic" freak as far as being "on the grid". But when I'm on a plane, I simply enjoy the flight. It's getting to the point where folks want cellular service while in-flight. Jeese people, get a grip. You can be "off-grid" for awhile...right?
Love it when the plane lands and people are able to use their cell phones-sounds like walking past a tree with a few hundred birds in it. Gawd. Glad I was able to fly back in the pre-Blackberry days-so much nicer.

Airplane Flights

@sbcglobal.net

Re: why not...

said by stridr69:

....just enjoy the flight. Granted I'm a "Johnny Numatic" freak as far as being "on the grid".
Sorry, boss: It's "Johnny Mnemonic" (Mnemonic = relating to memory). Apologies for pointing it out, but I just couldn't let it go.

said by stridr69:

But when I'm on a plane, I simply enjoy the flight. It's getting to the point where folks want cellular service while in-flight. Jeese people, get a grip. You can be "off-grid" for awhile...right?
Westerners always seem to have a problem with sitting still and simply being at ease with themselves. It's pretty much a given nowadays: even simply walking down the sidewalk isn't enough to keep people occupied and they have to have a 'phone in their hands to help their hands/head "stay busy." [shrugs]

On an airplane flight, I can almost understand why people are so tense, though. Being in an aircraft isn't really a "natural" state to find yourself in. Add in the fact that people have a tough time sitting in one place, (see above)
along with the airlines' never-ceasing efforts to shove an ever-greater number of people on their planes, and you're onto a winning formula if you're able to provide these people with some means of "escape" from having to face the fact that they're sealed in a tin can....surrounded by other people who are just as angst-filled as they are.

said by stridr69:

Love it when the plane lands and people are able to use their cell phones-sounds like walking past a tree with a few hundred birds in it. Gawd. Glad I was able to fly back in the pre-Blackberry days-so much nicer.
It'd be nice if airlines could offer some sort of "in-seat yoga" or even something as basic as simple breathing exercises for their passengers to do to help them relax. However, I'm not going to......hold my breath.......while waiting for such things to appear.
TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:3
Reviews:
·NorthWest Tel

1 edit

Plug-ins anyone?

I don't know if this is the case with most airlines, but with the few that I've flown in I was disappointed by the complete lack of laptop power outlets in all but the first class seating.

A long time ago I had purchased a car/air power adapter for my laptop, well, it hasn't seen any use in an airplane thus far. Pity.

Personally I'd like to see seat power outlets becoming a standard in airplanes, I don't care so much about internet, I want to be able to keep juice going to my laptop long enough to watch a few DVDs!

Yeah yeah, I know what you're gonna say, "get a laptop with more than a half hour battery life", whatever...

Alcohol
Premium
join:2003-05-26
Climax, MI
kudos:4

Re: Plug-ins anyone?

Agree. This is something i've been waiting for years.

ReVeLaTeD
Premium
join:2001-11-10
San Diego, CA
said by TheMG:

Personally I'd like to see seat power outlets becoming a standard in airplanes, I don't care so much about internet, I want to be able to keep juice going to my laptop long enough to watch a few DVDs!

Yeah yeah, I know what you're gonna say, "get a laptop with more than a half hour battery life", whatever...
I was not going to say that. That would be totally rude and uncalled for. Absolutely.

I was going to say...get a portable DVD player instead.