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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

Tim Sutton

July 8, 2010, 2:21 pm

I fly to and from the US frequently.

If the nasal voiced braindead Americans who always seem to be on my flights are now going to be on the phone for an entire 11 hour flight (except for when they're eating. Probably just the 2 hours on the phone then.) I will almost certainly kill.

Broadband data yes please, calls oh please God no.


July 8, 2010, 4:06 pm

@Tim: nasal voiced braindead Americans, Broadband data yes please, calls oh please God no.

Yeah, but he's got Facetime. :)


July 8, 2010, 4:34 pm

Yup, an hour of this on the train is quite enough (far too much, in fact).

And many of these calls, it's hard to shake off the distinct impression that the call is being conducted in part for the benefit of the other passengers, so we are in no doubt that the office revolves around this guy and can't function for an hour without him.

At what level of provocation does it go from being air rage to justifiable homicide?


July 8, 2010, 4:41 pm

Loving the pic, very drole...


July 8, 2010, 4:48 pm

Such a money spinner - first they will charge people to use the phones, and then they will charge people even more to sit in seats in "the quiet zone" where you are not permitted to use one.

Horrific - I may have to buy a gulfstream.


July 9, 2010, 1:50 am

lol @ Ryanair.

Michael O'Leary walks into a bar in Dublin and asks for pint of Guinness.

"That will be one euro please sir" says the barman.

"That's very reasonable" replies Michael.

"Indeed. Would you like a glass with that sir.....?"

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