A sampling of in-flight Internet offerings
Dec. 31, 2007 - What's coming to in-flight internet service in 2008 in the U.S.
December 31, 2007 By The Associated Press
AIRCELL _ Delivering high-speed Internet services using a
3-megahertz frequency band licensed from the Federal Communications
Commission for $31 million in 2006. Initial service over continental
United States, with plans to expand to Canada, Mexico and the
Caribbean. Service on some flights of AMR Corp.'s American Airlines
and Virgin America to begin in 2008. Prices expected at about $10 a
flight, though Virgin may offer cheaper, la carte services on
seatback computers. Aircell LLC is based in Itasca, Ill.
LIVETV _ Delivering e-mail and instant-messaging services only
using a 1-megahertz frequency band licensed by the FCC for $7
million. Service over continental United States. LiveTV parent
JetBlue Airways Corp. launched free service on one aircraft Dec. 11.
LiveTV is based in Melbourne, Fla.
ROW 44 _ Partnering with Hughes Communications Inc.'s Hughes
Network Systems to deliver high-speed Internet services via
satellite. Global coverage planned. Scheduled to launch on an
aircraft of Alaska Air Group Inc.'s Alaska Airlines in spring 2008.
Alaska hasn't set prices; free service for frequent fliers is
possible. Row 44 Inc. has headquarters in Westlake Village, Calif.
PANASONIC AVIONICS _ Partnering with Intelsat Ltd. for
satellite-based, high-speed Internet services. Global coverage
planned. GSM cellular phone offerings through AeroMobile Ltd.
approved in Australia. Tested on Australia's Qantas Airways Ltd.,
with other, unnamed airlines expected in late 2008. Panasonic plans
to charge about $12 an hour or $22 per 24-hour period. Panasonic
Avionics Corp., part of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., is based
in Lake Forest, Calif.
ONAIR _ Leveraging standard GSM cellular phone technology to
deliver voice, data and Internet services. Approved by European
Aviation Safety Agency, with coverage elsewhere pending. No current
plans to offer service in North America, where many cell networks
use different technology. Following Dec. 17 launch on Air France,
OnAir plans to service European no-frills carrier Ryanair Ltd.,
British Midland Airways Ltd. and Portugal's TAP by mid-2008. Fees
will vary and generally will be billed directly by passenger's
cellphone provider. OnAir is a joint venture between aircraft
manufacturer Airbus and SITA, an information-technology company
serving airlines. OnAir has headquarters in Geneva.