Panasonic Coming To The Rescue For In-Flight Internet?

from the save-us! dept

A few weeks ago, Boeing made news for announcing its plans to shut down its in-flight broadband offering, Connexion. While the company had a few takers (all outside of the US), it was proving too expensive to equip planes and then to run the service. Some existing users were pretty upset by the fact that they might not be able to use the internet in the air going forward, but it looks like Panasonic is coming to the rescue. They're not looking at taking over the Boeing service, but claim they've figured out a way to use a similar approach so that they can easily switch existing Connexion-outfitted planes to their own service (which they also claim is faster and cheaper). You knew that someone else was going to get into this business, and it's actually nice to see Panasonic step in with a solution that tries to build on what Boeing already had put in place. Panasonic is using the death of Connexion smartly for their own marketing efforts, asking airlines that currently use the system to commit to switch over within 60 days, to avoid any downtime for fliers. It's good that many existing in-flight internet services will continue, but the real issue is always initial installation. If it still costs too much (or grounds a plane for too long) then it's never going to get enough traction to be profitable.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 1:07am

    Practically a moot point since some airlines are now banning laptop use since the Sony battery fiasco...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    JackR, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 2:33am

    thank goodness

    while i'm not so sure about mobile phones in the air, internet in the air is a good thing. of course if all tehse laptop batteries keep having problems exploding, we won't be able to use it anyway

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 4:38am

    What do we need in-flight Internet for?

    When as of the last terror threat on planes, we are now required to check our notebooks as baggage?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Steve E, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 4:54am

    Re: What do we need in-flight Internet for?

    The conditions around hand luggage including laptops have been eased in the UK, but of course it's no use if you have a Dell and fly on Virgin...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    John, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 6:26am

    werd

    Well atleast i konw that if i get on a plane, If laptop dont go trought a series of bomb test and then blown up for the last test I just might be able to use the internet. Witch would be a real good thing being that i have never flown before

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 7:41am

    who cares

    am i the only one who couldn't give a shit about inflight internet or inflight phone calls? who the fuck cares. your on a plan for .00000000000000000000000001% of your life. do you really need internet access?
    i dont understand why the topic gets so much attention, not only here but at tons of other tech sites

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    tagbo, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 8:13am

    Many Care

    Obviously, you've never flown coach transatlantic.
    10hrs in a cramped seat, watching the same movies over and over, and you'd love to escape to cyberland.... maybe at least catch up on email... or chat with your wife back at home on msn/yahoo/google/aol.
    Who cares? Please.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 8:52am

    first, don't laptops contain "liquids"??? anyway.

    with i-net in the air, isn't it possible to plan and execute a terroris attack as well? plus possible updates and such?

    i dunno.

     

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  9.  
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    Wired, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 9:12am

    I can see this being useful on long flights (i.e. >4 hours). As a travelling consultant who flies at least once, and typically twice, per week I use plane-time for 2 things:
    short flights - wind down, relax, read a book
    long flights - be productive, do billable work

    Internet access would be beneficial on those long flights - particularly international flights - when I'm trying to be productive or need something more entertaining (or distracting) than the crap movies they show (and charge for the headset) or the screaming baby seated behind me.

    There's a new movie for ya - Babies on Planes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Adam, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 9:23am

    Re: who cares

    YOU may only be on a plan for .00000etc1% of your life, but lots of people travel regularly for work.
    Sometimes having a PC or a book, or something else is all they need to help keep sanity in a 10hr+ fl;ight. Multiple times a month.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
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    Anonymous of Course, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 10:40am

    Yay MAS!

    Good, Panasonic's MAS divison worked hard
    to build the premier in-flight entertainment
    system. This is just the gravy...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
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    buba, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 11:03am

    cant wait to stream porn next to the parents who let their kids do what they want...check up on some sites in arabic next to the woman who is convinced everyone is a terrorist...what fun!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
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    Ryan, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 12:46pm

    Would this be a free service? Or would you have to pay something like 15$ a minute...if so that's ridiculous.

    I agree with Wired on his comment.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 3:43pm

    Re: What do we need in-flight Internet for?

    We ??? No "we" dear American friend... the rest of the world does not share the same restrictions.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
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    Paul, Sep 20th, 2006 @ 5:19pm

    Price for consumers?

    Free in-flight internet is a good draw to get me to go with one airline over the other, but I wouldn't pay for this service.

    Of course I won't pay for internet service at a coffee shop either, but there are people who do.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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