51 thoughts on “U.S. In-flight Broadband Is A-gogo by Spring”

  1. Glenn they are using compression and on board caching for a “better” experience. I think the 3 Mbps today will increase to 15 when Rev B comes around. And so on!

  2. I think in flight access can be a great service, assuming that the airlines don’t “screw it up”. One concern that I already have is the pricing, or should I say price gouging that is being proposed. The airlines would serve themselves well if they did modest flat rate pricing that made sense as a percentage of overall flight cost.

    Let me also add that in flight VOIP should be restricted, if allowed at all.

  3. I’ll add a third reason airlines should want this: occupied passengers don’t bother the flight staff and make everyone happier.

    That is, until the internet connection goes down.

  4. Not one to back up PR spin, but not only are their network costs lower than competing Ku-Band satellite services, the gap will grow because there’s no Moore’s Law pushing down the price of leasing that satellite capacity. Also no equivalent upgrade path to Rev C or LTE with satcoms.

    But there’s a place for each technology that can’t be ignored. Ku-Band will continue to do well with bizjets and European widebodies. L-Band satellite with SMS, which Qantas is deploying, and Iridium for ACARS transmissions to the cockpit.

  5. @Curtis: I understand your desire to ban voice apps on a flight (no one wants to sit next to an incessant yakker). Nowadays, I don’t fly without bringing earplugs or noise-blocking headphones- even without VOIP there’s enough noise pollution on a flight to be annoying.

  6. I don’t think that 3 Mbps is enough for an entire plane, even for a first generation. You have to figure on about 10 – 30 people sharing that bandwidth. Airlines are either going to need the EV-DO Rev B upgrade right away or go with a solution more like the Voyant/Harris aviation broadband thing, which according to a conference presentation earlier this week gives up to 35 Mbps to each plane.

  7. RevB will not increase the speed materially…Because they are limited to a channel size of 3MHz…
    a) In the CDMA world RevA, each channel is 1.25MHz for 3.1mb/s
    b) Assuming no guardbands, maximum throughput, per cell sector would be 6.2 mb/s with RevB.
    c) Keep in mind, a cell sector is several hundred miles with several planes in site of the base station…So, the more people using the service, the lower the throughput. But, that would be a good problem for Aircell to have. 🙂

  8. I was just on a plane from LA to NYC and the guy next to me was a beta tester for the company. He used it the entire flight. Watched video from Youtube, used outlook over a VPN, everything. Seemed fast enough. Slingbox did not work as I think that may have been to much.

    Can’t wait for this to be commercially available.

  9. I’ve been waiting for this technology to kick-off. It makes you wonder if it’ll be possible on transatlantic flights in the future too.

  10. I really enjoyed reading this post, thank you. Some very interesting points to think about. It would be great, if you’re interested, to share this at http://www.iloho.com. It’s an online tool for travelers where you can post the best travel news and articles on the web and then vote for your favorites.

  11. I am on my way back to San Jose after visiting my mom, and this is the first opportunity I’ve had to try this new service since its inauguration. Service seems snappy, at least from what I’ve seen so far. They have asked that you not watch video or make VOIP calls. I’m guessing that’s more economics than anything else. But still, it’s great to have this option.

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