We’ve been getting our interview groove on recently, so we figured it would be a good idea to get Intel sat down to discuss the recent announcement that it has partnered with Boeing to offer Centrino verified in-flight hotspots.
Thomas Agostino, the company’s director of mobile marking for Intel Europe, was the lucky/poor sod charged with speaking to me, but – before we get to that – here’s a little backgrounder on the news.
The airline service is called “Connexion by Boeing” (which should help the spelling of millions of children worldwide) and it has agreements in place with over 600 corporations worldwide and wireless roaming services with 17 associate service providers (I guess you flip through them quite quickly at 500mph). Under the terms of the deal both companies will share technology (does that mean we’ll get flying notebooks?), unify service compatibility, co-brand everything like crazy and launch wireless education initiatives.
As you can see, we need some meat on this, so kindly step forward Thomas. An easy one to kick off so feel free to go marketing crazy on me. How will this technology will benefit consumer travellers?
TA: Intel's work with Boeing not only allows easier connectivity, but also ensures that aircraft passengers can enjoy the same seamless, high-speed broadband experience as they do at home or at work. Through the Wireless Verification Program, Intel has worked with Boeing to identify and minimize issues related to quality of service, site coverage and down-time that may negatively impact the end-user experience. The system enables leisure travellers to access and enjoy real-time personalised experiences such as IM, the kid's favourite DVD, their own HDD video/images, video conferencing or VOIP with family and people at their destination as well as live television and interactive games, making the travel experience more enjoyable and keeping the kids happy! There is also a massive benefit to business travellers. This real time access can help businesses to improve productivity by allowing business passengers to keep in contact with the office, access the company intranet and partake in meetings whilst flying to their destination.
TR: But isn’t sleep important too? Just kidding. How did Intel work with Boeing in order to enhance and promote this in-flight wireless Internet service?
TA: Intel have worked with Boeing in order to verify the interoperability of the hotspot with the typical configurations for Intel Centrino laptops. Intel developed a set of tools and test plans to check various scenarios and usage models for what the end user will encounter when using a laptop and WLAN infrastructure. The purpose of this added level of testing is to optimise the end user WLAN experience both through the connectivity validation and the user interface.