Verizon says it is ready to begin offering in-flight broadband service to airline passengers sometime in 2007. Verizon's announcement follows last week's issuance by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of updated rules on spectrum auctions, which open the door to broadband WiFi service for passengers high up in the air. Bill Pallone, president of Verizon Airfone, urged the FCC to auction new licenses in the 800 MHz band. "There are many interested airlines and general aviation operators that share our commitment to this broadband vision," he said.
Verizon's WiFi technology is based on CDMA2000 1xEV-DO with provisions for extended distances and Doppler compensation for high-speed aircraft. The company had been conducting trials since 2004 of service capable of ground-to-air peak speeds of 2.4 Mbps--enough for Web browsing, email service and VoIP telephony. The system will not interfere with cockpit electronics.
For more on Verizon in-flight WiFi:
- see this UPI report