Surfing Amongst the Clouds

Imagine e-mails, direct messages and social networking following you up in the air. EXEC takes a look at onboard internet making flying more fun.

Think of all the times you have sat in a flight, miles above the ground and wished to have access to the internet. Think of the times when you’v had more than a couple of hours to kill, yet have been unable to do anything (including Tweet about the horrible food served)  thanks to the lack of connectivity… think of how helpless you’ve felt every single time you have missed deadlines by a couple of minutes all thanks to the evil airplane that makes communication of any form impossible for you… and bid goodbye to the thoughts of anger and helplessness. There is good news to look forward to: a world where surfing in the sky is possible.

 Up Above the World Image

For those who don’t know, the concept of internet in the skies is in no way a new one. In fact, the mid 2000s saw this phenomena rise and then plummet down to the ground. Boeing in fact attempted to combine their knowledge and expertise to offer its patrons the option to remain connected to the internet in-flight with the help of geostationary satellites and special receivers fitted on the aircraft.

But without a substantial number of airline partners and the lack of passengers interested in the services, the trend gradually dwindled towards 2006 only to be back with the bang in the recent couple of years.

2012 witnessed a deal between British satellite telecommunications company Inmarsat and one of the biggest global aviation suppliers, US-based Honeywell indicated a development that might just make wifi up in the skies a tad bit more friendly. By announcing to launch three satellites in the coming few years, Inmarsat is all set to launch the first one in 2013. Referred to as the Global Xpress Project, the company promises to deliver in-flight wi-fi that is fast, cheap, reliable and readily available anywhere.

Price Matters Image ID: 84221134

With most airlines turning to Gogo Inflight Internet for service support, recent price hikes have not been totally surprising. What used to be $17.95 for a flight that could be considered to be longish is now priced at $30. What’s more appalling for more patrons, is the fact that Gogo has also turned to charging people by the hour starting from $10.

But with the line of WiFi providers cropping up to help airlines and passengers, the price issue might just be one less thing to worry about. Inmarsat has already revealed that their service is bound to be faster and in all proability cheaper, while JetBlue has promised a cheaper service already.

Though there are quite a few loopholes that need to be filled as far as the connectivity in the clouds is concerned, there is just one thing we can assure you, the wait for flawless in-flight connectivity is on its way to get over. With installations and testing procedures well on its way, it is just a matter of time before this wonderful idea takes off.

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