Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
What Is The State Of The Art For In-flight WiFi?  
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19371 posts, RR: 58
Posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 2670 times:

So at present, it seems as if the dominant form of in-flight WiFi is based on cellular technology, with GoGo using upward-pointed cell towers to feed broadband WiFi to aircraft.

My question is whether a satellite alternative is widely available at this point and who is using it. It struck me as a curious choice for DL to offer GoGo service when they have such a huge international network. Do they have an alternative that is already in place and why didn't they go for it?

Who is LH using?

Are the installed modules any bulkier or heavier than the cellular-based modules?

11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently onlinewjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5104 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 2574 times:

GoGo's parent already offers satellite-based service for its bizjet service. They are soon offering satellite add-ons for their commercial wi-fi on international.

User currently offlineseven3seven From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 316 posts, RR: 23
Reply 2, posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2477 times:

Southwest's wifi is satellite based. It will be the best service once its completed throughout the fleet


My views are mine alone and are not that of any of my fellow employees, officers, or directors at my company
User currently offlineLufthansa411 From Germany, joined Jan 2008, 692 posts, RR: 1
Reply 3, posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2450 times:

The Lufthansa technology is based off of satellite as well as the old Boeing internet that they offered at the beginning of the decade. Courtesy of wikipedia:

FlyNet is an onboard communication service for Lufthansa. Delivered using the Connexion by Boeing (CBB) system from its first demonstration flight in 2003 until Connexion by Boeing's discontinuation in 2006, the service utilized Ku band radio to provide passengers with onboard Internet access, which they could connect to via Wi-Fi. Lufthansa plans to relaunch FlyNet in the second half of 2010 in partnership with Panasonic Avionics Corporation. The new system will also use Ku band radio, providing satellite Internet access over Wi-Fi through Panasonic's eXConnect system, as well as text messaging and other data services for GSM/GPRS cellular devices through Panasonic's AeroMobile-based eXPhone system.

For the FlyNet relaunch in 2010, Internet service will initially be available on Lufthansa aircraft already fitted with hardware from the Connexion by Boeing system; FlyNet capability is expected for Lufthansa's full long-haul fleet by the end of 2011. The service, stated to focus on high bandwidth, is claimed to provide faster connectivity than its rivals, and is expected to be priced below service under Connexion by Boeing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FlyNet



Nothing in life is to be feared; it is only to be understood.
User currently offlinemandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6760 posts, RR: 76
Reply 4, posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 2429 times:

What's available for the stuff on board, is rather the same. How you connect it to the rest of the world is what makes the difference.

1. Terrestrial Networks... like GoGo, damn high bandwidth, BUT, only works at continental land masses.

2. Inmarsat Swiftbroadband... works at all areas except for the polar regions (beyond 86N and 86S). 432kbps per channel. Currently up to 2 channels per antennae... By year's end, it should be 4 channels per antennae. U do the maths.
The large sellers are Aeromobile and OnAir.
OnAir offers wifi connectivity. The Antennae manufacturers offer this directly to small users, such as Thrane & Thrane Aviator 200 (smaller bandwidth capability). Then there's EMS and Cobham. EMS is the large name in this field of antennae.

3. KuBand and KaBand (Regional)
You can have these satellite services with bandwidths in the Mbps ranges.
The problem is that KuBand (and to a lesser extent, KaBand) is affected by weather, even at high altitude. The present regional KuBand and KaBand networks means there are areas with no coverage, and switchover from one satellite to the next, is cumbersome albeit automatic.

Inmarsat's next generation satcoms will be KaBand (backed with the L-Band Swiftbroadband)....

4. As for Iridium, their bandwidth is low, so for internet onboard, only useful for small aircraft.

As for GoGo going international, well, the data pipeline outside Aircell's continental USA network is a choice from points 2-4. But then Aircell does provide Inmarsat SwiftBroadband service (default for new Cessna Bizjets as of this week).

I must say though, this is a very interesting and rapidly developing sector of the aviation industry!

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19371 posts, RR: 58
Reply 5, posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2349 times:

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 2):
Southwest's wifi is satellite based.

I found that decision to be almost as odd as DL's. The airline that only flies within the Continental US uses the system that can operate anywhere and the airline with a huge international network uses the system that can only operate in the Continental US.

Quoting mandala499 (Reply 4):

I must say though, this is a very interesting and rapidly developing sector of the aviation industry!

And with good reason. Back in 2003, WiFi was still relatively new technology and not everyone had it built in to their computers. Today, almost any adult airline passenger will have at least one WiFi device on them (usually a phone, often a laptop, increasingly often a tablet). On-board WiFi units are very light, can be installed in a day, use very little power, and serve as an excellent revenue source. They also make airlines more attractive to an increasingly wired (or wireless, rather) generation of passengers.

As compared with seatback IFE, a WiFi system is clearly a superior choice. It's lighter, it uses much less power, it's installed very quickly, it requires less customization, but it can be customized to provide all the services of IFE if the airline chooses.

I think the airlines will be in a rush to install these systems, but it sounds as if the systems to keep up with the demand aren't there yet, and it might take a few satellite launches before they are.


User currently onlinewjcandee From United States of America, joined Jun 2000, 5104 posts, RR: 18
Reply 6, posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 2314 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
can be installed in a day,

GoGo can. Not Row 44. Gogo will also be offering a server that will stream movies over the a/c WiFi network, storing the movies on board the aircraft. Another crafty use of the technology. As you point out, people are now carrying their own IFE Terminal, if you will, on board with them, and the network on the a/c (as opposed to the air/groud link) can readily sustain many simultaneous wireless video streamers.


User currently offlineaklrno From United States of America, joined Dec 2010, 920 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 2258 times:

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 2):
Southwest's wifi is satellite based.

I found that decision to be almost as odd as DL's. The airline that only flies within the Continental US uses the system that can operate anywhere and the airline with a huge international network uses the system that can only operate in the Continental US.

Since much of Southwests network is in the US southwest (strange coincidence?) where cell towers are few and far between, would a cell tower based system work? How well do those systems work now in the empty parts of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, etc?


User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19371 posts, RR: 58
Reply 8, posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2059 times:

Quoting aklrno (Reply 7):

Since much of Southwests network is in the US southwest (strange coincidence?) where cell towers are few and far between, would a cell tower based system work? How well do those systems work now in the empty parts of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, etc?
http://www.gogoinflight.com/gogo/cms/work.do

It actually does a good job of covering most of the USA. Because the horizon is so distant at FL 300+, each tower covers quite a large area. For example, the entire state of Michigan only has one tower, which covers the entire northern portion of the state. The southern portion of the state is covered by another tower in Toledo and one in Chicago.

Here's a map of the coverage zone and you can see that it covers the entire U.S. with very little bleed-through beyond our borders.



[Edited 2011-05-18 11:44:30]

User currently offlinewaggingtail From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 70 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 2041 times:

does anyone know if CX has any plans to add the LH satellite wifi system to their fleet

(i recall using connexion on CX years ago)


User currently offlinechrisair From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 2065 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 1983 times:

Quoting aklrno (Reply 7):
How well do those systems work now in the empty parts of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, etc?

Gogo works fairly well, it's just slow. Just used it last week on a PHX-ATL flight, and I use it routinely going on my PHX/TUS-SEA flights. It does drop every now and then over the Grand Canyon.

Quoting seven3seven (Reply 2):
It will be the best service once its completed throughout the fleet

I agree with you 100%. And I'm not just saying that since I get it free as an A list preferred member. 
Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
I found that decision to be almost as odd as DL's. The airline that only flies within the Continental US uses the system that can operate anywhere and the airline with a huge international network uses the system that can only operate in the Continental US.
WN only operates in the Continental US for now.   I was surprised when AS went with Gogo--Wifi to Hawaii would have been awesome.

Without a doubt inflight Wifi is the best thing added to planes in the last 10 years.

[Edited 2011-05-18 12:38:47]

User currently offlineDocLightning From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 19371 posts, RR: 58
Reply 11, posted (3 years 2 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1907 times:

Quoting chrisair (Reply 10):

Gogo works fairly well, it's just slow.

Really? I have only used GoGo once on a VX flight from SAN to SFO and I thought it was surprisingly fast. As fast as my DSL at home. Didn't do a speed test, though.


Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
What Is The X In Virgin Atlantic Flight 20X? posted Fri Jun 4 2010 19:36:32 by Vulindlela
Ok, So What Is It Really Like To Work For The TSA? posted Sat Nov 14 2009 15:13:09 by KLM672
What Is The State LHR T2? posted Tue Dec 30 2008 11:05:13 by Brilondon
What Is The Purpose Of Qantas Flight 8 LAX To SYD? posted Tue Mar 4 2008 21:21:47 by Access-Air
What Is The New Name For Hainan Airlines? posted Tue Jan 1 2008 11:43:50 by Wedgetail737
What Is The Future For LH Hubs After BBI Opens? posted Thu Nov 29 2007 04:55:49 by Skyhigh
What Is The Plan For TP And NI? posted Mon Oct 22 2007 13:25:04 by RicardoFG
What Is The Longest Non-stop Flight From LHR? posted Sun Sep 30 2007 03:19:49 by UAL747
B6: What Is The Future For TPA/MCO? posted Wed Jul 18 2007 04:23:46 by JerseyGuy
What Is: The Best Trip For Travel To Germany? posted Wed May 30 2007 08:58:31 by Tugger