Panasonic's In-Flight Broadband Service Misses Its Connexion

from the delayed dept

After Boeing announced several months ago that it was shutting down its Connexion in-flight broadband service, a Panasonic unit said it would fill the gap. It said it wouldn’t take over Connexion, but had a new and better service, and that it would be easy for airlines to switch their Connexion-enabled planes to it. However, with the shutdown of Connexion looming in the next few days, it looks like the Panasonic system is still grounded, because the company, its partners and airlines still can’t agree on a deal. It’s rather fitting that the holdup here is a commercial, not a technical one. Connexion proved that a decent in-flight broadband service was technically possible, and that’s no longer a question. But despite all the apparent interest in such a service, it failed to catch on. Pricing may have been too high for most people, or perhaps the many surveys saying people really want to surf while they fly were just wrong. The economics of the airline industry don’t help, either, and with airlines just getting back on their feet after several lean years, they’re still hesitant to shell out the costs of wiring their planes for access. Forthcoming air-to-ground services may offer some cost savings over satellite-based systems for flights over North America, but that’s still only part of the issue: are enough people willing to pay for in-flight broadband to support the service?

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Comments on “Panasonic's In-Flight Broadband Service Misses Its Connexion”

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dorpus says:

Inelastic supply curve

Flights between the Western World and Asia remain the most lucrative segment of the global airline industry, and internet or not, there are only so many flights.

Despite all the talk of the internet bringing prices down, the internet has had zero effect on the prices of long flights to Asia. All the sites conspicuously lack Asian flight destinations; when Asian destinations appear at all, they are at jacked-up prices. Just as before, getting the rare cheap ticket to Asia remains an art of knowing the right people and staying on their good side.

Lawrence Sinclair says:

It was a bargain

It costs something like $25 to turn a 14 hour+ economy class flight from New York to Tokyo from an uncomfortable and isolated ordeal into something a quite a bit more endurable. I was able to IM chat with friends (without bothering any of my fellow passengers), surf the web to plan what to do at my destination. I could have traded stocks or gambled, if I was so inclined.

Buck says:

Can We?

Can we maybe try to stop ‘acting cute’ with the news headlines? I understand what it takes to be a “journalist” for a WEBSITE, but that doesn’t mean you need to try and make the worst jokes on the planet from the headlines. We aren’t looking for a laugh, we’re looking for news.

Personally, this is the last time I click on some damn link where the author is so full of himself that he actually thinks that crap is amusing.

Ayman Zeibak says:

IN flight internet

it is the most importatant services that AIRLINES can offer , we enjoyed using the internet while flying when it used to be wih LUFTHANSA , befor BOEING decided to shut down their serivces .
I am looking for a strong company who can provide internet services during flight and ready to go on profit sharing business at any time .
we have a huge demand and interestedbusiness customers to useit , price has to be reasonble and guarantee speed .


Ayman Zeibak

IT, TELECOM company

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