Virgin Joins Qantas With Fleet Wide In-Flight WiFi

Technology fightback gathers momentum.

While Boeing and Intel turned out not to be a match made in the clouds, u-hating Qantas improved the state of in-flight WiFi last month and now Virgin is picking up the baton.

The eerily-named Branson brand has confirmed it has signed a deal with mobile data and voice provider AirCell to add broadband access to every one of the company’s flights throughout 2008.

For those who don’t like to carry a laptop with them email and web access (along with the ability to log onto an office network) will all be available through Virgin’s existing ‘Red’ seat entertainment system. Perhaps more crucially however Wireless-n will circulate the cabin turning the planes into giant 500mph hotspots enabling passengers to log their laptops, smartphones and PMPs on for the duration of the flight.

At this stage Virgin hasn’t announced any pricing for these services (or whether there will be integrated PSUs) but with the Boeing/Intel plan dying a death because of costs and Qantas making its solution eminently affordable expect something reasonable.

Poor environment, however will you survive when flying is set to become such fun…?

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