Boeing shuts down in-flight web service
After Verizon declared in June that it's planning to withdraw its on-board phone service by the end of the year, it's now Boeing that's to shut down its Connexion unit and cease in-flight Internet service. The company has decided on this after analysts had estimated that only about 1,000 customers a day used the service which costs about $150 million a year to run.
Meanwhile, AirCell and LiveTV, a part of low-cost carrier JetBlue Airways, are planning to roll out new in-flight Internet services by the end of 2007, after winning relevant licenses in June. The idea is to turn airplanes into flying hotspots as AirCell's service is based on cellular technology, unlike the satellite-based Connexion, and thus making the equipment cheaper and lighter. AirCell's cellular antenna weighs about half a pound, while Connexion equipment weighed hundreds of pounds. This makes the AirCell's equipment easier and quite cheaper to install on a plane, and accordingly it will allow Airlines to offer in-flight Internet services at a decent price - probably for less than $10 per flight.