Air China pilots free in-flight Wi-Fi

Air China pilots free in-flight Wi-Fi

Summary: The Chinese airline rolls out free in-flight Wi-Fi for passengers, but smartphones are not allowed to access the service to prevent signal interference.

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TOPICS: Travel Tech, China, Wi-Fi
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Air China has rolled out free in-flight Wi-Fi for its passengers, but has banned smartphones from accessing the service.

Air China has rolled out free in-flight Wi-Fi service for its passengers, but has banned the wireless service from being used by smartphones.

Tech QQ reported the airline piloted the Wi-Fi trial from Chinese capital Beijing to another city, Chengdu, on Thursday afternoon China time. Passengers can connect to the Wi-Fi network by registering for a username, password, seat number, and identification number.

The airline also said Wi-Fi will only be activated when the plane climbs to an altitude of 3,000 meters or more to protect customer safety.

Air China's Airbus A330-300 models are equipped with wireless Internet access systems, wireless routers, and servers. The top of the aircraft will also be fitted with a signal-receiving antenna. 

While passengers are allowed to use laptops and tablets to access Air China's Wi-Fi service, they are not allowed to use smartphones to prevent cellular phone signal interference, the report noted.

Airlines around the world also have started to install Wi-Fi on their airplanes. Airlines that have piloted trials include Virgin Australia, JetBlue, Delta Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Norwegian Airlines.

Topics: Travel Tech, China, Wi-Fi

Ellyne Phneah

About Ellyne Phneah

Elly grew up on the adrenaline of crime fiction and it spurred her interest in cybercrime, privacy and the terror on the dark side of IT. At ZDNet Asia, she has made it her mission to warn readers of upcoming security threats, while also covering other tech issues.

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  • Why can't they just turn off their cell phone signal?

    Most modern smartphones allow you to turn off the cell phone signal (2G/3G/4G, etc.) but keep the WiFi on. Why don't they allow that?
    Michael Kelly