Web radio in the sky: Boeing, JetBlue unveil in-flight Wi-Fi and cellular plans

Tuesday, September 25, 2012 - 1:20pm

Boeing adding Wi-Fi to 747, 777 planesMinus services that offer offline caching, usually airplanes are off-limits to Internet radio. That's gradually changing as more airlines and airplane manufacturers add in-flight Wi-Fi options.

Boeing has actually already begun outfitting its 747 and 777 planes to provide in-flight Wi-Fi, cellular connections (!) and even live TV by 2013. The company's 787 Dreamliner already has such equipment. The Verge has more coverage here.

Meanwhile, JetBlue has announced plans to roll-out in-flight Wi-Fi in Q1 2013. That service will even be free for "basic email and browsing." Boy Genius Report has more info here.

WSJ: More flights offer web access and more passengers paying for it

Friday, March 23, 2012 - 11:55am

WSJ stats on in-flight Wi-FiThough yet to reach mainstream adoption, in-car Internet radio is likely old news to industry professionals and RAIN readers. But have you listened to web radio at 30,000 feet yet? It seems in-flight Wi-Fi usage and availability is on the rise, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Currently 1,700 planes in the U.S. offer web access with about 8% of passengers using in-flight Wi-Fi. That's up from 4% in 2010 and research company In-Stat predicts it will reach 10% by the end of 2012. "People are beginning to expect you to have Wi-Fi everywhere," said In-Stat.

Virgin America says about 16% of passengers pay for in-flight Wi-Fi. And a Delta representative said, "We're seeing very, very rapid growth." Such experiences have prompted airlines to install in-flight Wi-Fi in more planes and come up with new ways to lower pricing.

Delta says the most popular website accessed during flights is (surprise) Facebook. But with WSJ pegging growth on the rising popularity of tablets, there's got to be some web radio streaming going on up in the clouds.

The Wall Street Journal has more coverage here.

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