Airline internet access now available at 35,000 feet
December 4, 2004 High-speed broadband internet access will be available in-flight on Singapore Airlines (SIA) routes thanks to a definitive service agreement between the airline and Connexion, a business unit of The Boeing Company, that will allow passengers to stay connected with their digital networks while flying at 35,000 feet. SIA will also transform in-flight entertainment with live international TV beamed through Connexion to passengers' laptops in a "CyberCabin" environment.
Passengers using the Connexion by Boeing service aboard equipped SIA aircraft will be able to connect real-time to their corporate virtual private networks, send and receive emails and surf the Internet while in the air, transforming business class as we know it. Each plane equipped with the Connexion by Boeing service offers either an Ethernet Local Area Network (LAN) connection or a wireless 802.11b network connection, or both. Passengers will also be introduced to a whole new era of in-flight entertainment when live international TV is made available in mid-2005. The channel lineup will initially include four international news channels, with sports content to be added at a later date.
SIA plans to initially offer the Connexion by Boeing service on its Singapore-London route in the first quarter of next year and eventually expand the capability to selected flights worldwide.
"This strategic move by Singapore Airlines helps ensure that its passengers will be at the forefront of the in-flight connectivity revolution," said Connexion by Boeing President Scott Carson. "We commend Singapore Airlines for its leadership in the development of its CyberCabin concept and providing passengers with additional choices for how to spend their time in flight. We look forward to working together with them to add an exciting new element to their in-cabin passenger services."
Connexion by Boeing, which sets service pricing, has established a competitive set of options that provide value and choice for SIA passengers and others who wish to stay in touch with important information. The two initial pricing plans, which will vary depending on flight length, are as follows:
Flat-Rate Pricing Option: (Unlimited access to the Internet) US$29.95 for long-haul flights (more than six hours); US$19.95 for medium-haul flights (between three and six hours); and US$14.95 for flights less than three hours.
Metered Pricing Option: For flights less than 3 hours: 30-minutes starter package for US$7.95 with rates of US$0.25 per minute thereafter. For flights more than 3 hours: 30-minutes starter package for US $9.95 with rates of US$0.25 per minute thereafter.
In addition, Connexion by Boeing is establishing associate service provider agreements with leading mobile service providers worldwide, including SingTel and StarHub in Singapore. The partnership with the telecoms will enable airline passengers to use their existing wireless services user identifications and passwords to access the mobile Internet service in-flight. Passengers choosing to do so will receive their in-flight Internet access billing as an add-on to their existing wireless bill.
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