American Launches Broadband Tests

By Tish Drake | August 2, 2007
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American Airlines said it is partnering with AirCell to become one of the first U.S.-based airline to launch in-flight broadband capabilities as it begins testing services in the United States in 2008. The airline said the service will allow passengers to check e-mail and surf the Web using Wi-Fi enabled laptops, PDAs, iPhones and Blackberrys while in flight. The cost of the service will be announced at the time of service roll-out, the airline said. "We understand that broadband connectivity is important to our business customers and others who want to use their PDAs and laptops for real-time, in-flight broadband communications," said Dan Garton, executive vice president – marketing for American Airlines. The tests will be conducted on American’s fleet of Boeing 767-200 aircraft that primarily fly transcontinental routes. Upon the roll-out, service will be coast-to-coast U.S. coverage and usable by passengers equipped with 802.11a/b/g Wi-Fi enabled devices. "Travelers are already bringing their own Wi-Fi enabled devices onto planes," said Jack Blumenstein, AirCell CEO. "Bringing broadband access onto domestic flights at an everyday, affordable price provides travelers the opportunity to recapture time.” AirCell, of Louisville, Colo., emerged last year as the winner of a spectrum auction by FCC for air-to-ground broadband frequencies. For related news

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