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Three more airlines sign up for inflight wi-fi
Apr 10th, 2014 by elisa

Three further airlines have signed up to OnAir, an IT system that allows for an inflight phone connection and wi-fi.

Kuwait Airways will fit 12 new aircraft and its fleet upgrades with Mobile OnAir and Internet OnAir delivered from December. TAAG Angola Airlines will introduce the technology on its new fleet, and Sri Lankan Airlines, which is also due to join the oneworld alliance on 1st May, is installing the system on six new aircraft as it renews its long-haul fleet.

OnAir, which is owned by SITA, the IT solutions provider to air transport, has regulatory approvals from over 100 countries as well as more than 375 roaming agreements.

Passengers will be able to use wi-fi, as well as phone, text, email and use their apps as usual from their phone. For Internet OnAir, passengers will log on and enter their credit card details before surfing the Internet just as they would at a wi-fi hotspot on the ground. Passengers using Mobile OnAir will have charges included in their monthly phone bill, as they would if they were using international roaming.

“Earth stations” for high-speed travel Wi-Fi
Feb 19th, 2014 by elisa

Ofcom has approved plans for high-speed wi-fi on planes and ships, allowing for speeds of up to ten times faster than currently available.

Late last month, the communications regulator announced the plans for the use of “earth stations” on moving vehicles. These devices can supply internet connection by linking to a geostationary satellite. They have been developed to track satellites more closely and provide a more reliable connection, even on fast-moving trains and planes.

Philip Marnick of Ofcom, said: “We want travellers to benefit from superfast broadband on the move at the kind of speeds they expect from their connection at home.

“Today’s decision means that operators of trains, boats and planes will soon be able to begin the process of making these valuable services available to their passengers.”

Earth stations on aircraft or ships will need to be licensed by Ofcom, while those mounted on land-based vehicles will not need such a licence. The regulator said that it is working on providing the licences to ships and aircraft from this month, with the first commercial use of the technology to begin later this year.

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