Connexion Shutdown Raises Questions about eXchange

 - November 13, 2006, 9:59 AM

Boeing’s plans to shut down its Connexion satellite Internet service after failure to turn a profit in six years of operation put a damper on what should have been only good news this month for Rockwell Collins. The avionics maker announced that a newly manufactured Bombardier Global Express XRS became the first customer airplane to enter service with eXchange Internet hardware, which uses the Connexion satellite link. Boeing intends to pull the plug on Connexion by year-end, leaving Collins little time to study alternatives. The avionics maker is in discussions with four Ku-band satellite operators about transponder lease agreements that would allow eXchange service to continue after Connexion goes off the air. Service pricing will likely rise, and moderate changes to eXchange hardware and software will also be needed, according to a Rockwell Collins spokesman.