Lufthansa Putting Broadband In All Long-Haul Jets - InformationWeek

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Lufthansa Putting Broadband In All Long-Haul Jets

A trial of the service carried out earlier this year proved successful.

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) - German airline Lufthansa said Tuesday that it has signed a deal with the Boeing Co. to install broadband Internet service on its long-haul fleet.

Starting at the beginning of next year, all 80 of Lufthansa's long-haul jets, including the Boeing 747-400 and the Airbus A340 and A330, will be fitted with Boeing's Connexion wireless Internet system, the airline said.

The agreement follows a trial that started in January, during which Lufthansa offered the service free of charge on some flights between Frankfurt, Germany, and Washington, D.C.

"It makes it possible for business travelers to use their flight time better," Lufthansa's deputy chairman Wolfgang Mayrhuber said in a statement.

Airline spokesman Michael Lamberty declined to say how much the airline would pay Boeing, adding that prices for customers haven't yet been set.

Connexion's service requires installing two antennas on each aircraft, one to transmit data to satellites and one to receive data. A server and routing system inside the plane relay signals to and from plug-in ports at the seats or wireless networking cards in passengers' laptops.

British Airways also took part in the trial on flights between New York and London. Both Japan Airlines and SAS have decided to install the service on some of their long-range aircraft, but Lufthansa said it will be the first to outfit its entire long-haul fleet.

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