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Why Did Connexion Fail?  
User currently offlineTommyy From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 66 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3311 times:

I read almost every other day that another airline is jumping on the internet bandwagon and a couple of companies such as AeroMobile are hitting the market big time, what did Boeing do wrong ? or did they just have to wait a couple of more years for it to catch on ?

16 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26444 posts, RR: 75
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3281 times:

Pretty simple answer. It cost too much. $29.99 was a price point most would not go to, especially if the flights were shorter than around 10 hours.


Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19569 posts, RR: 58
Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3269 times:

Maybe it was ahead of its time? Maybe it needed 5 more years for the first generation of adults who hit puberty with the code ".com" as part of their lexicon to actually form the market?

I'm 32. So I'm at an age group that is just starting to become a force in the aviation market. When I got to college in 1996, my university had port-per-pillow access in the dorms and you could only use your computer at your desk. In 2001, when I left with a graduate degree, people were just starting to get wireless networks. Now, I have internet anywhere Sprint PCS serves. Except on the plane. As a 32yo resident of the First World, it strikes me as curious that an airliner, the most technologically advanced creation we've ever mass-produced, an environment that is continuously in touch with the ground, would not have internet access.

And apparently enough other people who have the money to pay for the service agree because now it's getting hot.

I still cannot figure out why GoGo is so popular when it only works over land.


User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26444 posts, RR: 75
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 13 hours ago) and read 3251 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
Maybe it was ahead of its time? Maybe it needed 5 more years for the first generation of adults who hit puberty with the code ".com" as part of their lexicon to actually form the market?

By 2004, when Connexion service was launched, laptops and wireless were pretty widespread. Internal wireless cards had become standard and even those without internal cards had USB or ethernet based wireless receivers. It really was a price point issue, as the magic $19.95 and $9.95 marks were exceeded.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlineSkymiler From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 529 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3063 times:

The infrastructure that Boeing built to support this product was enormous.

I did contract testing on the service, and it worked very well, but the overhead costs (rumoured to be a world-wide staff of 500) and $1M per aircraft could not be justified by any means in a consumer market (DOD, of course, is another issue).
Then, there was also Boeing's world-class bureaucracy that I had to deal with (SIGH ..)



I love to fly, and it shows!
User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3591 posts, RR: 10
Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 3036 times:



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 2):
I still cannot figure out why GoGo is so popular when it only works over land.

Not that difficult to figure out.

Cost.

The major infrastructure was pretty much already in place, so it is just variable costs that need to be covered. The pricing is therefore attractive to the consumers.


User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3624 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 2906 times:

It was bad marketing as well. I didn't even know Connexion existed until they announced they were phasing it out. I got a few flights in with free wireless in the waning days; I would have easily paid for it had I known about it. ANA had it JFK-NRT, and I don't remember seeing a single advertisement, logo, or anything letting people know it was available. The first inkling I had was when they announced they'd be giving it away free in preparation to disconnect it.


I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offlineTommyy From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 66 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2656 times:



Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 6):

I think this makes the most sense, that it was not marketed properly, I cannot see why somebody who will pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars on a ticket would hold back from spending 30 bucks for internet for 10 hours


User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1352 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2644 times:

Connexion required satellite links, which are very very expensive.

Not unless/until a critical mass of airlines were willing to offer the service would the price become reasonable. That didn't happen, and it was dropped.

Internet services like that provided by Gogo (Delta's contractor) use land-based equipment, similar to cell phones.


PS



Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
User currently offlineN1120A From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 26444 posts, RR: 75
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2512 times:



Quoting Skymiler (Reply 4):
The infrastructure that Boeing built to support this product was enormous.

Absolutely. That is why it cost so much.



Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
User currently offlinePurpleBox From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2005, 325 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 2506 times:



Quoting Aviateur (Reply 8):
Connexion required satellite links, which are very very expensive.

Any in-flight phone or Internet connection requires a satellite link.



Next Flights:STH-ATH-STN (A3), BHX-INV-BHX(BE), LCY-FRA-BOG(LH), EZE-FRA-LHR(LH)
User currently offlineSkymiler From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 529 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 week 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 2440 times:



Quoting PurpleBox (Reply 10):
Any in-flight phone or Internet connection requires a satellite link.

Satellite is used ONLY away from a terrestrially based system. AirCell uses what is effectively an "upward pointed" cell system -- NO satellite!

The Satellite is used ONLY where there is no ground coverage, such as over an ocean.

The ground based system does have "holes" (or dead spots) and the satellite may not have oriented its transmitters to cover the whole globe -- just the most commonly flown routes. I did testing on such systems and we found a really weird "dead" spot halfway between Dallas and Oklahoma city!

The closest universal coverage would be via Iridium, but it is VERY expensive, slow, and not used on commercial carriers, or for consumer use.

I think it may be a while before we see low cost connections on trans-oceanice flights ...



I love to fly, and it shows!
User currently offlineAviators99 From United States of America, joined May 2008, 455 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 1 week 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 2287 times:



Quoting PurpleBox (Reply 10):
Any in-flight phone or Internet connection requires a satellite link.

Skymiler is correct. AirCell (GoGo), which is the most popular by far (in use by VX, FL, DL, AA, UA, AC), uses a ground-based system. The aircraft has no satellite uplink capability at all. It is also very lightweight.

Row 44 is in use by WN and AS *does* use satellite, and is much heavier and more expensive. AS clearly needed satellite, due to their Hawaii/Alaska flights. I'm not sure why WN went with it.

I've used them both, and the service levels/speeds were equivalent.


User currently offlineR2rho From Germany, joined Feb 2007, 2618 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2259 times:

I think that pretty much sums it up - very high infrastructure costs, leading to a very expensive service that too few people were willing to pay for. Poor marketing helped too, but was not the main cause. Connexion was simply too much capability, too early. Probably in a couple years, something like Connexion could have worked.

OnAir from Airbus is less performing than Connexion was, but it is affordable, which is why it seems to be doing ok so far.


User currently offlinePellegrine From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2437 posts, RR: 8
Reply 14, posted (5 years 1 week 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 2223 times:



Quoting Skymiler (Reply 11):

The closest universal coverage would be via Iridium, but it is VERY expensive, slow, and not used on commercial carriers, or for consumer use.

Inmarsat is for all intents and purposes global. Except for the extreme polar regions. IIRC they offer services faster than Iridium now.



oh boy!!!
User currently offlineRikkus67 From Canada, joined Jun 2000, 1628 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (5 years 1 week 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 2145 times:

I have to wonder what the Bees think of all the internet/cellphone use?

http://www.scienceagogo.com/news/20070315215055data_trunc_sys.shtml
(bad graphics, sorry...)



AC.WA.CP.DL.RW.CO.WG.WJ.WN.KI.FL.SK.ACL.UA.US.F9
User currently offlineAviateur From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 1352 posts, RR: 11
Reply 16, posted (5 years 1 week 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 2078 times:



Quoting PurpleBox (Reply 10):
Any in-flight phone or Internet connection requires a satellite link.

Not true. See posts above.

PS



Patrick Smith is an airline pilot, air travel columnist and author
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