24 SEPTEMBER 2012
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Having commercially failed with its Connexion project, launched 10 years ago, but much praised by users, Boeing is to use its experience with in-flight passenger communications for its current and future aircraft model range.
By the end of 2013 all production 747-8 and 777 will have the capability to provide in-flight use for cell phones, wi-fi connectivity for passengers, internet access using in-flight entertainment (IFE), and live television broadcasts. Additional connectivity systems are being evaluated for the 737 that could be available in the near future. The 737 already includes wiring provisions for connectivity systems.
The 787 offers a post-delivery retrofit of a kit that provides in-flight use of personal cell phones and wi-fi connectivity for passengers and is working toward a full set of connectivity offerings as part of its standard catalogue by the end of this year.
The prime connectivity systems currently in development at Boeing are the Panasonic Global Communication Suite and Thales TopConnect. Wireless media streaming is expected to be available on all new Boeing aircraft by 2014. www.boeing.com/commercial
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