Emirates to offer wireless inflight e-mail and SMS
Emirates Airline has announced that soon it will offer its passengers regular, airborne wireless laptop service, following an agreement signed today with Tenzing Communications of Seattle, Washington, USA.
The Dubai-based international airline will launch the new feature in the first quarter of this year onboard all of its new Airbus A340-500s, stated a press release. The new product is the world's first deployment of Wi-Fi e-mail laptop connectivity in regularly scheduled commercial aviation. It will be offered alongside the seatback e-mail and SMS already available on Emirates' A340-500s which let passengers send out e-mails and SMSs during the flight, using an on-screen keyboard, and receive replies.
With the new wireless laptop system, passengers can use their own e-mail accounts, including corporate e-mail, in a secure environment. The ultra-long-range A340-500 will be the first aircraft to include a wireless LAN certified for passengers' own Wi-Fi-enabled laptop computers. Dial-up connections to the onboard server also will be available, from passenger seats.
Passenger laptops will require minimal or no configuration to connect to the Tenzing service. Travelers will be able to choose between hooking up via the RJ11 dial-up method or the simpler 802.11b wireless method. First and Business class passengers also will be able to connect using a standard RJ45 LAN connector.
In-seat satellite telephone also is available to Emirates passengers, with calls costing five dollars per minute to anywhere in the world. The current charge for use of the seatback e-mail and SMS features already being offered on the A340-500 is one dollar per message. Usage fees for the new wireless system will be announced closer to launch date. — (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)