Delta Prepares Wi-Fi Launch

By Jim

 

If you’re a frequent flyer, this is good news for you (according to eweek.com):

Delta plans to offer complete wireless Internet service, including access to corporate and personal e-mail accounts, SMS texting and instant messaging. Delta officials say the Wi-Fi service, supplied by Aircell, will work with laptops, smart phones and other PDAs.

Delta Air Lines officials said Aug. 5 the airline will begin introducing Wi-Fi service in fall 2008 for its entire U.S. domestic fleet, offering wireless broadband connections by summer 2009. The Wi-Fi service will be installed by Aircell, which won an exclusive frequency license from the Federal Communications Commission in 2006 to offer airline wireless services.

This new service, dubbed as “GoGo”, will allow passengers to connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as laptops, smart phones and other PDAs in-flight.  Delta will be charging a minimal service connection fee of US$9.95 for flights that are less than 3 hours and US$12.95 for longer flights.  It will be initially offered on Delta’s fleet of 133 MD88/90 aircraft. The remaining Delta domestic fleet of more than 200 Boeing 737, 757 and 767-300 aircraft will add the service throughout the first half of 2009. The airline expects to have more than 330 aircraft wired with Wi-Fi by the summer of 2009.

Not really sure if this will open-up a box of goodies or a box of worms.  Security and safety will be a primary concern.

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