Boeing Planning To Ramp Up In-Flight Calling, Wi-Fi And Entertainment

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News Posted: Sat, Sep 22 2012 7:14 PM
Boeing thinks you need even more ways to stay connected while on a plane. Agree? Not that it matters much, because the friendly skies are gradually becoming a place where you can no longer escape your work e-mail, and maybe, your work calls. The airplane maker has this week revealed that systems will soon be installed during production on the 747-8 and 777, enabling these aircraft to provide in-flight use of cellphones and Wi-Fi by the end of 2013. It's all a bid to bring more wireless waves and more robust in-flight entertainment options to passengers, and in an increasingly competitive airline marketplace, it sure sounds like a good plan.

Additional connectivity systems are being evaluated for the 737 that could be available in the near future. The prime connectivity systems currently in development at Boeing are the Panasonic Global Communication Suite and Thales TopConnect system, and if all goes well, wireless media streaming is expected to be available on all new Boeing airplanes in 2014. Hope you've got a few spare batteries!


SEATTLE, Sept. 20, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Boeing (NYSE: BA) continues to advance its suite of connectivity offerings on its family of commercial jetliners. Systems to be installed during production on the 747-8 and 777 by the end of 2013 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 systems that provide 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 catalog by the end of this year.

"We're always working to ensure that our products offer the airlines of the world the most modern and robust technologies available to provide their passengers with an exceptional flying experience," said Mike Sinnett, senior chief engineer of Airplane Systems for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Passengers want the option of staying connected to e-mail and the internet and other online offerings when flying. We've looked across the industry and are partnering with several connectivity system providers across our family of airplanes."

The prime connectivity systems currently in development at Boeing are the Panasonic Global Communication Suite and Thales TopConnect system.

Wireless media streaming is expected to be available on all new Boeing airplanes in 2014.
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worst Idea ever! Wifi is fine, but in flight calling I don't think so...

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Dumbalumba replied on Mon, Sep 24 2012 11:00 AM

I like it. Best time to give a call to your beloved one, and have a long conversation.

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realneil replied on Mon, Sep 24 2012 9:00 PM

Most Pilots will not like the thought of passengers with 'real time' communication with someone on the ground. It's a major security risk.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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