Companies Vie To Install Wi-fi In Planes

Television screens in airplanes are likely to go the way of free meals and blankets as passengers increasingly bring personal entertainment devices like laptops, tablets, and smartphones on board. Today's (Tuesday) Wall Street Journal reported that a "thriving market" has come into existence among companies seeking to provide wi-fi and video to passengers. The current leader is Gogo, which quickly signed up Delta, American, AirTran, Alaska, and Virgin America. However, the Journal observed, those airlines are "now locked into contracts for a service that is quickly being superseded by a number of rivals." Those rivals include Panasonic Avionics Corp., which offers wi-fi services via satellite, allowing travelers to access the Internet over oceans and ViaSat, another company that plans to offer astellite wi-fi via Ka band technology by late next year. That service, with its greater bandwidth will allow transmissions of high-definition video in flight.

11/10/2011


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