Live tv over the ocean? It’s not possible today, and traditional direct broadcast satellite television providers are unlikely to have a business model for such services anytime soon. But Boeing and Rockwell Collins do.
Connexion by Boeing
We live in a brave new world of constant connection, to our homes, offices, business acquaintances, friends and family. We’re connected by our cellphones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), laptops and Blackberries. And that’s the way we want it, in the air as well as on the ground.
For a long time–too long some say–the industry has been struggling to give passengers on corporate aircraft the same business and entertainment tools at 41,000 feet that they enjoy at home or in their offices. And the truth is it’s going to take a little longer.
Look for Arinc’s SkyLink high-speed-data satcom service to start showing up in a wider range of airplane types now that an exclusive agreement with Gulfstream is expiring. The company is said to be close to finalizing deals in the works with a number of OEMs and independent service centers, with the first three announced last month.
Priced at about $11 per megabyte, access to Inmarsat’s SwiftBroadband airborne data service will represent a relatively expensive option for in-flight Internet access.
Bombardier officials last month conceded they are somewhat concerned about the recent news from Boeing that it might pull the plug on the satellite-based Connexion service. Boeing admitted it is evaluating the future of the unprofitable business after news reports surfaced that it might sell or terminate the service.
Boeing’s plan to shut down its Connexion in-flight Internet service by the end of the year has thrown the future of Rockwell Collins’s eXchange high-speed-data service into limbo as the avionics maker searches for a new program partner.
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