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Cathay Pacific Promises 50Mbit In-flight Broadband

Gordon Kelly


Cathay Pacific Promises 50Mbit In-flight Broadband

2007 saw a fad for in-flight WiFi with Qantas and Virgin notable converts, but the failure of Intel's Connexion service had since deterred many. So we're glad to see Cathay Pacific try and drag it into the teenies/tensies (did we up ever come up with a name for this decade?)…

The Hong Kong-based airline has teamed up with Panasonic Avionics to install cutting edge versions of its eXConnect broadband and eXPhone GSM phone services. How cutting edge? PA claims eXConnect can hit speeds of up to 50Mbit while eXPhone can support calls, SMS messaging and can data services – the last of these something in-flight GSM services are generally loathe to do.

"Connectivity will form an important part of our overall customer proposition," said Cathay Pacific product head Alex McGowan. "Having that connectivity integrated closely with our video on demand entertainment system is especially valuable as it means that all passengers will be able to use the service. We believe that being connected is now an expected part of everyday life – not just for business purposes but also to stay in touch with family and friends."

Cathay Pacific hopes to have the service up and running by early 2012 and while I'm not a fan of introducing phone calls for fear of killing the person next to me, data would be hugely welcome. Cathay didn't discuss pricing, but let's hope it can finally start inching towards something more reasonable.

Besides Ryanair already has in-flight calls and will be desperate to find yet another optional extra it can charge for…

Link: Press Release

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