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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Flying High with Wi-Fi in the Sky

Flying High with Wi-Fi in the Sky

Flying in the USA on select airlines like America, United, Southwest, Jet Blue and Alaska Airlines and on selected flights is starting to happen. This service in Canada – not so much (Porter, West Jet and Air Canada is our industry). Costs are anywhere from $10-$20 which is reasonable if you can be productive and also the duration of the flight.

With the controversy that tablets can affect the airplane navigation system (although it does not) the airlines are happen to let you surf it up in the air for a fee. The system has sensors that turn on the service once the altitude is above 10000 feet.

The main service providers that connect the planes to cellular towers is GoGO, Panasonic, Row 44 and a new Canadian venture called SkySurf.

Service is pretty good with the ability to make calls using the ShoreTel Mobility app on different smartphone devices and able to watch YouTube Video with decent streaming and this varies with the provider and the planes location.

For those travelers that enjoy the connectivity from their Wi-Fi at home, and then use Cellular Data on the way to the airport, then free airport Wi-Fi can now continue the connection while riding the chair in the air. Expect an increase of tweets, Facebook updates and Instagrams from up in the air while in the USA but best to not expect anything flying Canadian airlines anytime soon.

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