21 JANUARY 2013


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Article from BTNews 21 JANUARY 2013

Wi-fi for the US

United Airlines has introduced onboard satellite-based wi-fi connectivity on the first of its international wide-bodied aircraft, becoming the first US-based international carrier to offer customers the ability to stay connected while travelling on long haul overseas routes.

The aircraft, a Boeing 747 outfitted with Panasonic Avionics Corporation’s Ku-band satellite technology, serves trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific routes.  Additionally, United has outfitted Ku-band satellite wi-fi on two Airbus 319 aircraft serving domestic routes, offering customers faster in-flight internet service than air-to-ground technology (ATG).

The company expects to complete installation of satellite-based wi-fi on 300 mainline aircraft by the end of this year.  Customers have the choice of two speeds: Standard, priced initially between US$3.99 and US$14.99 depending on the duration of flight, and Accelerated, priced initially between US$5.99 and US$19.99 and offering faster download speeds than Standard.

United will install satellite-based wi-fi on Airbus 319 and 320 aircraft, and on Boeing 737, 747, 757, 767, 777 and 787 aircraft.  Customers will be able to use their wireless devices such as laptops, smart phones and tablets onboard those aircraft to connect with internet service using the in-flight hotspot positioned in their seat. www.united.com

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