Tag: Wireless


Lufthansa launches in-flight WiFi on International flights

There’s just no two ways about it: what Lufthansa has managed to accomplish here is nothing short of incredible.

While avid jetsetters have been enjoying in-flight WiFi on domestic routes for a few years now, the in-flight fun has been coming to an abrupt halt when boarding a flight requiring a passport. The dream of long-haul in-flight internet has felt like a distant one, but it seems that the future is indeed happening right now! The carrier’s FlyNet service has recently been relaunched and with assistance from Panasonic and the 802.11n gods that be, it’s now offering broadband internet access on intercontinental routes. At first, the service will be limited to select North Atlantic routes, but access should be available on “nearly the entire Lufthansa intercontinental network by the end of 2011.”

No specific performance figures are being released, but the company does call it “extremely fast” and quick enough to open large attachments “without delay.” Better still, the airline will be enabling cellphone data access (GSM and GPRS) in the Spring of next year, giving you the ability to send and receive the most expensive text messages! Deutsche Telekom will be providing the actual internet service, with pricing set as such: €10.95 (or 3,500 miles) for 1-Hour or €19.95 (or 7,000 miles) for a 24-hour Pass that also allows patrons to access the web on “on all Lufthansa connecting flights equipped with a Hotspot during the period of validity as well as after the flight in Lufthansa lounges.” In addition, it’s totally free through January 31st, 2011!!

More info over @ Lufthansa’s FlyNet page: http://konzern.lufthansa.com/en/themen/flynet.html


Super WiFi is upon us…

Word out of Washington D.C. is the Federal Communications Commission voted unanimously to allow the use of “white spaces” for wireless broadband in the USA, allowing for the creation of what they call “Super WiFi”. The decision was closely watched in the tech community for its potential to create entirely new types applications and businesses.

The “white space” is spectrum left over after television went all-digital last year in the USA. Some of it will be used for public safety, allowing different agencies to communicate with each other. The rest has been reallocated for other purposes, which now includes wireless broadband.

The vote makes this spectrum free for use with no license. This freedom has raised concerns over interference between devices, which delayed this vote for nearly 2 years. However, this problem will be addressed with a database of major broadcasters to help users avoid bunching up on the same channels.

The reason it’s being called “Super” and described as “wifi on steroids“, is because, like TV, this will work in much the same way as wifi but with a potential range of multiple miles, requiring fewer access points and offering the ability to better penetrate obstructions such as walls. Networks and devices that run on “Super WiFi” are still years away, but this is the critical first step to making that happen.

In making the decision, the FCC set aside two vacant UHF channels for use by wireless microphones and other low-powered devices across the country. The National Association of Broadcasters, which has expressed concern about interference with mics and television signals, says it is reviewing the decision.

More coverage via AP.