updated 01:00 pm EDT, Wed June 3, 2009
45Mbps airline Internet
Having presented the technology during the Immarsat Aeronautical Conference, one company claims it can significantly boost the speeds of in-flight Internet. Wi-SKY is promising download rates as fast as 45Mbps, potentially dozens of times quicker than the access offered by airlines like Virgin America. Taking to the air, Wi-SKY is last Tuesday said to have demonstrated seamless streaming for functions like Skype video calls.
The technology requires a series of radio towers, each capable of broadcasting to a distance as far as 54 miles. The scheme is thus similar to current cellular-based connections. Wi-SKY has not announced any real-world partner airlines however, meaning that there is no timeline for deployment, nor any indication of how expensive the extra bandwidth might be for passengers.