American Airlines to test in-flight Wi-Fi service from AirCell

By on August 1, 2007, 4:53 PM
AirCell, a wireless data and voice communications provider in business aviation, today announced it is teaming with American Airlines as the first US carrier to test its high-speed broadband Internet access. Beginning in 2008, in-flight Wi-Fi from AirCell will be available for a fee on American's Boeing 767-200 aircraft flying mostly transcontinental routes.

"We understand that broadband connectivity is important to our business customers and others who want to use their PDAs and laptops for real-time, in-flight broadband communications," said Dan Garton, Executive Vice President - Marketing for American Airlines.
Passengers will reportedly have access to some content at no cost through a Web portal, including and sites that affiliate themselves with AirCell to let users, for instance, book cars and hotels. The cost of the service will be announced at the time of service roll-out. However, AirCell’s previous statements hint that service will be at a slight premium over what hotspot services costs on the ground, with discounted rates for users of existing Wi-Fi hotspots such as Boingo, T-Mobile and iPass.

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johnster said:
While the American Airlines news is interesting, I wanted to point out that Row 44 is ahead of any competitor; our launch airline, a US major, will likely be up and running long before American Airlines.Row 44 aims to dominate this space through technology and intelligent use of existing infrastructure. Also, while the offering to travellers on AA is described as ‘mostly Transcontinental’ what that really means is ‘entirely within the contiguous 48’ and maybe only a few narrow pieces of that too, considering that the service requires an extensive network of ground towers to maintain contact with each plane, which does not exist yet. By way of contrast, my company, Row 44, aims to dominate this market, both in the US, (from Alaska to Mexico, including Canada and the Caribbean) but also overseas, starting with the EU just a few months after the US roll-out.We deliver more data (much) more economically than our competitors, by using our Satellite link operated by Hughes, and advanced Hughes-developed technology together with our highly specialized antenna system. We believe our prices will be around half of what Aircell is proposing.We will be launching on an already-signed US major in 2008, and we hope to win several more large airlines this year. Announcements will be made shortly.
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