Wi-Fi on a plane: More Boeing aircraft get wireless, mobile access

Summary:Boeing is to equip more of its aircraft with Wi-Fi and cellular access from next year, meaning less offline time for passengers.

Boeing is to add in-flight Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity to more of its planes, meaning more travellers will be able to get online while they travel.

The company, which already equips its 737s with kit that allows airlines to offer on-board Wi-Fi and cellular access, will also begin kitting out its 747-8 and 777 by the end of 2013, it announced on Thursday.

Boeing's 787 aircraft can also currently be retrofitted with Wi-Fi, and the range should get "a full set of connectivity offerings as part of its standard catalogue" by the end of this year, the company said.

All new Boeing planes will have the option of providing wireless media streaming in 2014.

The worldwide market for in-flight Wi-Fi services is expected to hit $1.85bn by 2018, according to research company Global Industry Analysts.

Among the latest airlines to announce plans to add Wi-Fi to their onboard offerings is US carrier JetBlue, which said this week it will introduce Wi-Fi to its aircraft in 2013. Elsewhere, Delta Airlines is planning to expand wireless access to its long-haul international fleet next year while Norwegian Airlines recently added Wi-Fi to 46 of its planes and is scheduled to do the same for its entire fleet before the end of this year. 

Topics: Networking, Wi-Fi

About

Jo Best has been covering IT for the best part of a decade for publications including silicon.com, Guardian Government Computing and ZDNet in both London and Sydney.

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