Lufthansa To Install Mobile Broadband In Airplanes – FlyNet

by Klaus on October 13, 2009

in Tech News

lufthansa_airbus_a380Lufthansa announced yesterday that they will be installing equipment for mobile broadband in 50 of their long-distance airplanes.

Passengers will be able to logon and connect to the Internet throughout the entire cabin, just like you would with any other wireless hot-spot. There’s also access for devices supporting GRPS, which is a rather old and very slow standard, but I hope they at least support some kind of EDGE (or maybe even 3G) as well. This also means that it’s now allowed to use your cellphones on the plane.

Panasonic Aviations will deliver the new system for Lufthansa which is said to be the first of its kind, in the world. Lufthansa had another project to provide wireless broadband in the air back in 2004 with Connexion by Boeing, but Boeing never found a sustainable business model for the service and it was abandoned in 2006.

The price for using FlyNet, as the service has been named, is still unknown but I wouldn’t be surprised if the price is as high as you fly (read: expensive). But at least you will be able to also pay with your bonus points (Miles & More).

While the price might be high, so is the speed supposedly. Lufthansa said they intentionally wanted to provide a broadband Internet service with high bandwidth in order to support applications such as video conferences and telemedic systems where the patients vital data are being transferred to the ground.

In the long run, Lufthansa expects to offer FlyNet in all of their planes on the longer distances.

Connexion was used by 30,000 passengers a month before the service was discontinued in 2006. FlyNet will be available on some airplanes starting next summer.

I just wish that KLM would have been able to offer Internet on their Amsterdam – San Francisco flight this Summer. When you’re on a 10 hour airplane ride like that, there’s nothing else you’d like to do than to be able to get online and kill some time blogging, playing or whatever. Reading, watching movies and playing with iPhone gets boring after the first few hours and sleeping isn’t always so comfortable in a tiny airplane seat.
I say: Yay, FlyNet FTW!

Comments & Leave a Comment

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ricky October 13, 2009 at 13:35

It is a good news for all the passangers. It will really help them to kill some time. It is also helpful for businessman as they need an internet connection to deal with their client or customer. Thumbs up

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Mac Jones October 13, 2009 at 20:29

This is great news – it may be expensive and only on Lufthansa to start with but at least it gets the ball rolling for other airlines to introduce the service and hopefully start to bring the cost down. A long haul flight with your MacBook and a broadband connection will be so much more enjoyable.
.-= Mac Jones´s last blog ..iPhone app saves UK users £250,000 in two weeks! =-.

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Klaus @ TechPatio October 14, 2009 at 00:14

I agree, at least they get the ball rolling now, so it’s just a matter of time before it will come down to a fair price. Nevertheless, I think I wouldn’t mind paying $50 for unlimited use on a 10 hour flight. So, it’ll be exciting to see what prices they come up with.
.-= Klaus @ TechPatio´s last blog ..Membership Site: How To Find Out What Your Members Want Before You Launch =-.

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Extreme John October 15, 2009 at 19:48

It’s only a matter of time before this is a feature of all commercial flights, it’s about time.

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