Honey­well plan­ning to roll out new Wi-Fi

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - BUSINESS - By ZHU WENQIAN zhuwen­qian@chi­nadaily.com.cn

A global aerospace com­pany is plan­ning to roll out high­speed in-flight Wi-Fi in China dur­ing the next few years.

Honey­well Aerospace, which is based in the United States, is the ex­clu­sive provider of the lat­est satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tions hard­ware for the In­marsat sys­tem.

The com­pany is al­ready in early talks with China’s lead­ing air­lines about the up­grade.

The Wi-Fi op­er­ates on the KA band, and the in­ter­net speed of such Wi-Fi will be 10 to 100 times faster than the cur­rent choices.

Most in-flight Wi-Fi op­er­ates on the KU band, which makes it sus­cep­ti­ble to in­sta­bil­ity and lost con­nec­tions dur­ing a flight, espe­cially when the airplane is fly­ing over oceans.

Andy Gill, se­nior di­rec­tor of busi­ness and avi­a­tion in Asia Pa­cific at Honey­well Aerospace, said the up­graded cabin con­nec­tiv­ity of­fers global broad­band ac­cess, pro­vid­ing the same in­ter­net speed and re­li­a­bil­ity that pas­sen­gers can get at home or in the of­fice.

“Pas­sen­gers will be able to watch YouTube videos dur­ing a flight, and have ac­cess to real-time TV, TV on de­mand, high-speed broad­band in­ter­net, video con­fer­enc­ing, emails and other ap­pli­ca­tions,” he said.

Gill added that some air­lines, in­clud­ing Lufthansa, Sin­ga­pore Air­lines and Viet­nam Air­lines, al­ready are us­ing high-speed Wi-Fi.

He said the com­pany is in dis­cus­sions with Air China and Hainan Air­lines, which are ex­pected to test the Wi-Fi first be­fore putting it into use on com­mer­cial flights in China.

In ad­di­tion, the Chi­nese au­thor­ity has not yet ap­proved the use of such Wi-Fi in the mar­ket.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port by In­marsat, a Lon­don-based lead­ing provider of global satel­lite com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices, about 90 per­cent of pas­sen­gers sur­veyed in the Asia Pa­cific re­gion said the avail­abil­ity of on­board con­nec­tiv­ity would in­flu­ence their choice of air­lines.

The de­mand for in-flight Wi-Fi is in­creas­ing among pas­sen­gers in the Asia-Pa­cific re­gion.

The re­port also found that Chi­nese pas­sen­gers are highly likely to use in-flight Wi-Fi, as the na­tion has the high­est take-up of all the tested Asi­aPa­cific mar­kets. Such de­mand is driven by their mo­ti­va­tion to use com­mu­ni­ca­tion ser­vices such as WeChat, and this in­di­cates sig­nif­i­cant busi­ness op­por­tu­ni­ties for air­lines to use high-speed Wi-Fi to at­tract more cus­tomers.

Mean­while, Honey­well has launched a suite of con­nected ser­vices on­board, in­clud­ing a weather in­for­ma­tion ser­vice that gives pi­lots real-time weather data on the flight path, and fuel-ef­fi­cient soft­ware, which mon­i­tors and an­a­lyzes data and en­ables pi­lots to have ac­cess to the most fuel-ef­fi­cient flight paths.


A pas­sen­ger uses in-flight Wi-Fi ser­vice.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.