The service will be rolled out in stages with North American coverage coming first and a complete global service by 2005.
TAKING A PAGE from the auto industry`s efforts to give cars wireless access, Boeing demonstrated at Comdex this week its Connexion service for commercial airlines that will bring high speed, two-way Internet connections right to passengers` seats.
When available in early 2002, the satellite service, which was developed by Boeing for the military, will also give travellers live television and secure connections to company intranet sites, according to Boeing officials. The service will be rolled out in stages with North American coverage coming first and a complete global service by 2005.
While the company would not say so publicly, sources say Electronic Data Systems (EDS)—the global professional services organization based in Plano, Texas that hosts the General Motors` OnStar service—also will host and manage the service for Boeing.
If the airlines follow the business model of the auto industry, travellers can expect additional services and content over the connection, including pay-per-view video, shopping, travel, and destination information. The service will also be rolled out to commercial and leisure cruise ships as well as to oil exploration platforms said Boeing officials.
The system uses a Boeing phased array receive and transmit antenna, permitting instantaneous and continuous connections between satellites and aircraft.